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Three Victims Shot at Dolores Park - By sf-weekly-staff - August 3, 2017 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Three Victims Shot at Dolores Park

An SFPD drives down Church Street along Mission Dolores Park in San Francisco, Calif. Thursday, August 3, 2017. (Photo courtesy Shannon Fitzgerald)

A shooting at Dolores Park on Thursday afternoon left three men injured, including one in life-threatening condition.

Officers responded to reports of shots fired shortly after 3 p.m. Upon arriving, they found three victims at the footbridge that runs over the Muni tracks on the western side of the park, near the intersection of Church and 19th streets.

All three victims were transported to a hospital, one with life-threatening injuries.

As of Thursday evening, the cause of the shooting — and the suspects involved — had yet to be determined.

“We do know that suspects fled the scene, but we’re not entirely sure which direction,” said police spokesperson Officer Grace Gatpandan. When asked if the incident appeared to be gang-related, she said, “It does not appear that this is a random event.”

One man, who said his name is Mad Hatter and claimed to witness the incident, told reporters that he’d been grazed by a bullet during the shooting. “People were yelling and hollering, so I went over to see what was going on,” he said.

The man claimed that the suspects were wearing masks, and that when the shooting began, a bullet bounced off the ground and left a welt on his leg.

“I dropped to the ground because it hit me like a punch,” he said, lifting up his pant leg to show a small red mark.

Police did not confirm whether the man was injured in the shooting.

San Francisco resident Salome Milstead, 50, was playing with her two kids at the Dolores Park playground when she heard the shooting.

“We were just playing at the playground, and it was a quick succession, four shots,” she told the San Francisco Examiner. “The shooting happened at the overpass, over the tracks. There was a little distance. Everyone grabbed their kids and ran, the park emptied out.”

The scene at Dolores Park remained calm following the shooting, with groups of kids hanging out on benches steps from where police conducted their investigation. Tourists with cameras snapped photos of piles of bloody fabric and blue gloves sitting on the bridge’s steps behind the caution tape, and a man played with a labrador and little girl nearby on the grass.

Gatpandan acknowledged that the area is full of people in the afternoons, and asked for any witnesses to come forward.

“This area of Dolores Park is pretty busy around 3 p.m.,” she said. “We’re asking for anyone who was here who may have heard anything or saw anything to give us a call at 415-575-4444.”

S.F. Examiner staff writer Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez contributed to this report.