Two arrested in connection with shooting of girl

July 23, 2011 5:24:39 PM PDT
Police believe they have arrested two teenagers responsible for shooting an 11-year-old girl last night in San Francisco's Western Addition.

The girl was in an apartment across the street from the men when the shooting began. Two bullets struck the small apartment on Laguna Street; those bullets struck the 11-year-old niece of Eric Holt in the chest.

"I started hearing shots ring out," Holt said. "One shot into the bedroom window and one shot her near the lung and exited the back. She ran out and said 'Eric, I'm shot.'"

The girl lives in the Sunset District but was visiting her uncle for a few days. She was getting ready for bed when the shooting started.

San Francisco Police say they are outraged by the crime.

"It's a tragedy," said police lieutenant Colleen Fatooh. "Complete tragedy."

Investigators arrested two teenagers on Saturday. San Francisco's gang unit is now in charge of the case. Detectives think stray bullets from a gun fight on the street made their way into the home.

"We've been seeing an increase in some random shootings, so the officers have been more foot patrol and housing officers in an out of the developments more," Fatooh said.

The uptick in crime in the Western Addition started a few weeks ago. District Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi says the focus needs to be targeted to young people aged 17 to 26.

"It has to be both ends," Mirkarimi said, "Both ends is smart on law enforcement and the other end is in accountability, social service strategy that is able to reach out to these people."

The men in custody for Friday's shooting are in Mirkarimi's targeted age group. Witnesses say they were with a larger group of young African-American men at the corner of Eddy and Laguna Streets when an argument started, prompting one to pull out a firearm.

Police are not releasing very many details about what the argument was about and what the men have been charged with.

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