SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --San Francisco police are investigating the drive-by shooting and murder of a city employee Tuesday morning. Police say it happened at 8 a.m. at the corner of 25th and Vermont where a Department of Public Works (DPW) crew had been painting over graffiti on a box cover. Now, that box cover has a bullet hole in it as well as a sad history.
Jermaine Jackson Jr, a father of two, was gunned down while on the job removing graffiti. A mix of co-workers and family were hoping for the best but heard the worst as they gathered outside San Francisco General Hospital Tuesday. "I don't know what happened. Only that he was killed," Cemetra Thomas said.
"He was a great person. Why would anyone kill him? That is so messed up?" cousin Da'Mya Parker said.
Why he was killed remains a mystery. Jackson Jr. was 27, part of a city program designed to keep kids away from gangs. Was he a target? Police and the Department of Public Works say that is under investigation.
Asked if he had he ever expressed any worries about someone being out to get him, DPW Director Mohammed Neru said, "No. No indication of that. If they do, we take it seriously."
Everyone ABC7 News spoke with said Jackson Jr. was well-liked and a role model. "For someone to roll up and shoot him in the back while he was working, they a coward," grandmother Doris Shabazz told ABC7.
The city does have insurance policies for workers killed on the job, but that will not ease the pain. "We lost a young man that had a lot to live for, and children to live for, and two grandmothers and a mother, and we all loved him," Shabazz said.
That he was loved becomes more clear with every hour at 25th and Vermont as friends and family try to make sense of the senseless.