Monday, December 10, 2007

Fun with Thugs and Guns

Friday night the boyfriend and I decided to take MUNI to Lucky Pierre - from the Civic Center stop it's only a few blocks down 9th, and since it was early and we wanted some air, we thought it would be pleasant and cost-effective too. What we hadn't expected was to almost wind up in the middle of a shooting.

As we were coming out of the MUNI turnstiles we saw three kids, no more than about 16 years old, in black hoodies coming toward us from the BART side of the station. They were sorta loping along, not in much of a real hurry, but you got the sense that something was up. Two of them got on the escalator in front of us, while the third trudged up the stairs alongside. As we got to the top we heard one of them say something about somebody they had left behind, and then they were skulking around the top of the escalators. Thinking not much of it, we turned left down 8th, and then, about a block and a half away, between Mission and Howard, we heard two shots. We turned and saw three figures in dark hoodies running across 8th toward a parking lot on Mission. Within minutes there were SFPD cruisers everywhere, lights flashing, racing around the blocks, and then, as we got to Harrison, we saw an ambulance headed down 9th toward SF General. Feeling a little shaken up, we went inside and had a couple drinks. The next morning we found this posting in sfcrime (note that not one word about it was in the Chronicle, that bastion of crime reporting).

All I can say is, I'm glad we didn't stand there at 8th and Market waiting for the cross-walk signal to change so we could walk down Market to 9th, or we surely would have been in the middle of this. Later we shook our heads about the whole thing; what the hell are teenagers doing with guns? Over the weekend the Chronicle began running a series of articles about the culture of crime in Oakland, making it easy to draw a relationship between what goes on in the East Bay (and, I presume, parts of San Francisco) and what we witnessed on Friday night, but it's still pretty scary to think that something like this could just randomly happen on Market Street on a Friday night.

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