Man killed, girl injured in latest Western Addition shootings 

A 20-year-old man was killed and a 13-year-old girl wounded in separate, daylight shootings in the Western Addition on Sunday that police say may be related.

At 10:15 a.m., the male victim was preparing to clean a minivan near his home at the 1200 block of Eddy Street when he was approached by two men who opened fire, according to San Francisco police Sgt. Steve Mannina.

The suspects, described only as two black men, fled on foot while the victim stumbled down the block and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 a.m.

At 12:40 p.m., a group of youths were walking along Grove Street near Laguna Street when three people in a gray two-door hatchback drove up and exchanged words with them, according to Park Station Cpt. John Erlich. One of the occupants shot at the pedestrians, hitting a 13-year-old girl who was rushed to San Francisco General.

The girl’s injuries were "serious," Erlich said, though he did not know any details.

Police found the gray vehicle involved in the second shooting parked on Larch Alley, just a block from the scene of the first shooting, according to Erlich.

"It’s possible they are related," he said.

The violence comes on the heels of two other murders nearby — a man was shot in the head Feb. 5 and a 20-year-old man was fatally shot Jan. 27.

The Western Addition has become the hotbed for The City’s ongoing gun violence, with homicides increasing over the last three years. Sunday’s homicide puts The City’s count in the mid-teens, keeping pace with rates of 85 in 2006, 96 in 2005 and 88 in 2004. Janice Hill, who has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years, said she heard six to eight shots and raced outside to see whether her son was safe. He had been walking with the girl who was shot, but escaped unscathed.

"They were just coming from the store, and this little girl caught a bullet. It makes no sense," Hill said, adding that the second shooting was in retaliation for the first. "If you live on this block and you’re outside, you’re gonna get it — that’s what they’re saying."

Although Grove Street has enjoyed relative quiet from recent gunfire, residents fear those days are over.

"It’s gonna get hot now," resident Myra Singleterry said. "We are living under siege, and these kids carry guns to protect themselves. But this is our neighborhood. Our babies are out there."

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who represents the district, has continuously called for additional police resources to curb the violence that has plagued the area.

Most recently, he battled with Mayor Gavin Newsom and police Chief Heather Fong to get additional foot patrols for some of the most violent streets and last week introduced legislation that would put a moratorium on any new stores that sold alcohol. On Sunday, he said more needs to be done to protect residents.

"We need to diversify our community policing strategies … and we need to send a strong message that you cannot commit homicides with impunity," Mirkarimi said.

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Beth Winegarner

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