San Francisco Bay Area Friday Morning News Roundup

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Richmond: Update: Police Offering $25k Reward for Info on Shooting That Sent Baby, Man to Hospital

Police are still attempting to locate a gunman who fired multiple shots in Richmond's Iron Triangle neighborhood Thursday afternoon, sending a 1-year-old boy and a man to the hospital with injuries, police said.

At about 1:15 p.m., the baby was in his grandmother's arms inside a home at St. John's Apartments at 121 W. MacDonald Ave. when he was injured by gunfire.

A man in his 20s riding his bicycle in front of the apartment building was also shot, police Lt. Bisa French said. Both were in stable condition late Thursday afternoon, police said.

Officers responded to St. John's Apartments a short time after the shooting and found the child suffering from a serious neck wound.

The infant was taken to Children's Hospital Oakland in serious but stable condition, Detective Nicole Abetkov said.

It is unclear whether the wounds were inflicted by a bullet or by debris from the gunfire.

The bicyclist turned up at a local hospital a short time after the shooting suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg, police said.

No other injuries were reported. French said at least one male suspect armed with a gun fled from the scene on foot.

Officers fanned out to search for suspects with the help of police K-9s and helicopters.

Abetkov said officers located multiple bullet shell casings in a parking lot on MacDonald Avenue across the street from the apartment building.

Police believe the shooter fired his gun from across the street and may have been aiming for the bicyclist, she said.

Police have not established a motive for the shooting.

8-Year-Old Girl Returns to School After Struck by Arrow at Lawrence Hall of Science

A Marinwood third-grader returned to class in good health Thursday after she was struck by a arrow while on a field trip to Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science Tuesday.

The arrow pierced the leg of 8-year-old Nadine Hairston, a student at San Rafael's Mary E. Silveira Elementary School, around 10:10 a.m. while she was climbing on a sculpture of a whale outside the science center, located at 1 Centennial Drive on the University of California at Berkeley campus.

She was taken to a hospital where the arrow was surgically removed.

She was released midday Wednesday, school principal Will Anderson said Thursday.

She stopped by her classroom after her release, where classmates gave her get-well cards and hugs, Anderson said.

Nadine said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon that she just finished reading through all the cards, including those from her younger 7-year-old sister's second-grade class.

Her mother, Alicia Hairston, said Nadine is able to walk fine, but is not running yet.

After a full day at school, Nadine admitted Thursday afternoon that her leg hurt "a little." "She bounces back," Hairston said.

Despite the "nutty" start of the week, Nadine's return to school was well received, Anderson said.

"We're trying to get her back to the normal scope of things," he said. "Like being in a school and in a learning environment."

The principal described Nadine as "exuberant, cheerful and smiley" and said that she has remained peppy and upbeat despite the bizarre incident.

"It's amazing this happened to her and she still has the same frame of mind," he said. "Nadine certainly doesn't harbor negative feelings."

Counselors were brought into the third-grade classroom Wednesday to help fellow students cope with the aftermath of the accident.

"We are trying to keep the community informed and calm," Anderson said.

Richmond: Seven Injured, Three Critically, When Camaro Slams Into Pickup

A Camaro crashed head-on into a Chevy pickup at high speed in Richmond Thursday night, flipping the truck and sending the seven occupants of both vehicles to hospitals, police said.

Three of the injured people are in critical condition Thursday night, and one who was ejected from the Camaro is clinging to life, police Lt. Bisa French said.

The crash happened at 7:20 p.m. as the Camaro was traveling south on South 37th Street and collided with the truck heading north.

The truck flipped over and all of its three occupants were injured, one critically.

All four occupants of the Camaro were injured as well, including one female victim in grave condition Thursday night who was ejected from the Camaro.

The Camaro's driver was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition.

The other two Camaro passengers' injuries were not life-threatening, French said.

French said that police are investigating reports that the Camaro was speeding and whether that contributed to the crash.

Police are also investigating whether alcohol played a role.

East Palo Alto: Mayor Joins Skateboarders at Reopening of Skate Park

East Palo Alto Mayor Ruben Abrica joined skateboarders Thursday afternoon at the reopening of a city skate park that was closed for months.

A ceremony was held at 1:30 p.m. to mark the reopening of the 5,000-square-foot skate park at Bell Street Park on University Avenue.

The facility originally opened in December 2011 with funding from private grants and $70,000 in city funds.

It closed last August after city officials determined the temporary equipment was overused and no longer safe.

After a nearly $30,000 makeover, the skate park opened again Thursday with permanent, more durable equipment, East Palo Alto community development deputy director Sharon Jones said.

Mayor Ruben Abrica attended the reopening celebration Thursday afternoon, and reflected on the years of meeting with the skateboarding community to build the facility.

"That was the most significant element," he said. "It really was a collaborative effort."

Skateboarders and their families told the mayor and other city officials they had to travel long distances to Menlo Park or Mountain View to find a skate park, and suggested Bell Street Park as an ideal location to build a facility.

Thursday's reopening marks the permanence of the skate park, Abrica said.

"It's there to stay," he said, adding that the city is considering building a larger facility in the future.

At the park opening in 2011, Abrica said he got on a skateboard, and that Thursday afternoon he was considering getting back on.

The remodeling brought in new features, including a quarter-pipe, two jump launches, a grind rail and a skate table, which looks like a picnic table but is intended for boarders to practice tricks on, Jones said.

"I think kids -- well, skateboarders -- are pretty excited," Jones said.

After the ceremony, the community headed out to an open skate session to test out the new equipment, Jones said.

The East Palo Alto YMCA has partnered with the city to keep the facility open more hours, seven days a week, city officials said.

This month, the skate park is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Beginning in April, the park will stay open until 8 p.m. on weekdays.

Solano Co.: Two Occupants of BMW Killed in Crash with Big-Rig on I-80

Two people were killed Thursday morning when a big-rig driver choked on food and lost consciousness, striking three vehicles on Interstate Highway 80, a California Highway Patrol officer said Thursday afternoon.

The deceased were in a westbound BMW that was struck by the eastbound big-rig that crashed through the center divider guardrail into the westbound lanes of the highway near the Solano-Yolo County line, CHP Officer Chris Parker said.

The male driver of the empty commercial trailer was eating as he drove in the far right lane of eastbound I-80 near Old Davis Road around 10:35 a.m., CHP Officer Chris Parker said.

When the driver choked on food and lost consciousness, the big-rig drifted to the right then veered sharply to the left across all eastbound lanes of the highway, Parker said.

The big-rig struck an eastbound Toyota Corolla and a Volkswagen station wagon causing minor to moderate injuries to their drivers, Parker said.

The big-rig driver regained consciousness when the big-rig drove into the center divider of the highway and through the guardrail, Parker said.

The big-rig then collided with a westbound BMW, causing both vehicles to burst into flames, Parker said.

The two people in the BMW were killed on impact, Parker said.

The big-rig driver was able to get out of the big-rig, and he and the drivers of the Toyota and Volkswagen were taken to the UC Davis Medical Center, Parker said.

All three suffered minor to moderate injuries, Parker said.

The Davis Fire Department responded to the crash and extinguished the fires in both vehicles, Parker said.

Both deceased occupants were then found, Parker said.

The crash closed the eastbound and westbound lanes of the highway, Parker said.

Oakland: 19-Year-Old Convicted of Murdering Newark Football Star

A 19-year-old Fremont man was convicted of second-degree murder Thursday for fatally stabbing 18-year-old Newark Memorial High School football star Osana Futi last April in what a prosecutor alleged was a gang-related incident.

Abraham Hade, who had smiled when deputies led him into court Thursday, looked straight ahead and showed no emotion when jurors announced their verdict against him after deliberating for two days.

Prosecutor Elgin Lowe alleged during Hade's trial that Hade was a leader of a branch of the Norteno gang called Fremont Mexican Territory.

Lowe said Hade killed Futi because Futi had quarreled with the gang's members because he believed they were responsible for the fatal stabbing of his close friend and football teammate, 17-year-old Justice Afoa, near the intersection of Cedar Boulevard and Birch Street in Newark at about 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2010.

That crime was still unsolved when Futi was stabbed near Yellowstone Park and Hyde Park drives in Fremont shortly after 11 p.m. on April 28, 2012.

Futi died several hours later.

In January, three reputed gang members were charged with murder in connection with Afoa's death, and a fourth suspect was charged with assaulting Afoa and a friend in an earlier incident.

Newark police said Afoa was killed in an act of revenge because he had beaten up a 30-year-old Norteno gang member and the gang member felt embarrassed about it because he was much older than Afoa.

But defense lawyer Tom Knutsen told jurors in his closing argument on Monday that Hade is "an innocent man" and alleged that Futi was actually killed by a friend of Hade's who was only 14 at the time of the murder and at one point confessed to Fremont police that he was the one who stabbed Futi.

Knutsen claimed that Hade is wrongfully accused because of what he alleged was a "rush to judgment" by Fremont police and prosecutors to pin Futi's death on Hade.

However, Lowe said he believes that the teenage boy was only trying to take the rap for Futi's murder because he is a juvenile who would face a lesser sentence in juvenile court than Hade faces in adult court.

Lowe said that in the gang culture, it is expected that juveniles will take the blame for crimes because the consequences they face are less severe than those faced by adults.

Lowe said the boy's confession isn't believable because he was wrong about the area on Futi's body where he was stabbed and wrong about the location where the stabbing occurred.

The prosecutor also noted that the younger teen recanted his confession shortly after he gave it and then told investigators that Hade was the killer.

However, Knutsen said Hade doesn't belong to a gang, although he admitted that Hade may know some gang members.

Jurors found Hade not guilty of an allegation that he killed Futi to benefit a criminal street gang. 

SF: 68-Year-Old Woman Struck by Car in West Portal Last Week Dies at Hospital

A 68-year-old woman who was struck by a car while crossing the street in San Francisco's West Portal neighborhood last week has died at a hospital, authorities said Thursday.

The woman, identified by the medical examiner's office as Tania Madfes, died Wednesday after being struck at about 9:40 p.m. on March 21 at West Portal Avenue and Vicente Street, police said.

Madfes and a man were crossing the street in a crosswalk when the vehicle struck them, according to police.

The man suffered minor injuries but Madfes was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

The driver remained at the scene after the collision and cooperated with investigators.

Both the driver and pedestrians claimed to have the right of way, police said.

The driver has not been arrested and the case has been turned over to the district attorney's office, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

SF: Mural Calls Attention to Growing Number of Suicides by Veterans

Military veterans who have been working on an ongoing mural project in a San Francisco alleyway altered one of the artworks Thursday to call attention to the increasing problem of suicide among former soldiers.

Shannon Alley, located near Geary and Taylor streets in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood, has dozens of murals painted by various veterans as part of a project started in 2011 by Amos Gregory, a veteran from the Gulf War era.

The mural altered Thursday lists the number of suicides by veterans each day in the country.

It was updated from 18 to 22, which is the estimated daily total according to the latest study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which still does not include data from more than half of the 50 states.

"Basically what they're saying is they have no clue right now" about how many veterans are killing themselves, Gregory said.

He said he started the mural project to give a voice to local veterans, primarily ones that are homeless in San Francisco.

Dina Boyer, a transgender woman who served in the Navy from 1982-86, said she is currently homeless.

Boyer spray painted the new number onto an alley wall and said the project is a good thing for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"The murals are a way for veterans to deal with their trauma creatively using paint, creativity, images, and if it helps them in the least little bit then it needs to happen, and it needs to happen in every city where we have veterans," Boyer said.

Jordan Towers, who came back from the Iraq War in 2007, said the murals also help to increase public awareness of the struggles military members face after returning from war.

"It's important to highlight the issues that are going on with veterans," Towers said.

"A lot of people don't understand, there's still a disconnect about what veterans face day to day."

More information about the project can be found online at www.sfvetsmural.org.

SF: TV Pilot Starring Minnie Driver Films in City Neighborhoods

Crews were filming the pilot for a TV series starring Minnie Driver and David Walton in various San Francisco neighborhoods this week, a San Francisco Film Commission coordinator said.

Filming wrapped up Wednesday for the pilot episode of NBC's "About a Boy" directed by Jon Favreau.

Shooting was done in front of iconic San Francisco homes in the North of Panhandle area and in scenic spots along the waterfront over the past few days, film coordinator Lauren Machado said.

The series -- based on Nick Hornby's eponymous novel, which also spawned the 2002 feature film starring Hugh Grant -- could be back in San Francisco for more filming if the show gets picked up, Machado said.

Walton is known for his role as Sam on the FOX series "New Girl."

Favreau posted a photo of Driver and Walton online Wednesday and wrote, "That's a picture wrap..."

Favreau is an actor, director and screenwriter who has directed films including "Elf," "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2."

He also starred in the well-known movie "Swingers," which he wrote, and has acted in numerous other movies.

"If all goes well, we should see the pilot in the fall," Machado said.

An ongoing television series based in San Francisco would be an economic boon to the city, Machado said.

"TV is wonderful for the city," she said. "It brings not only many eyes, but many locals are hired."

Weather Forecast for the San Francisco Bay Area

Mostly cloudy skies with patchy dense fog are likely in the Bay Area this morning.

Visibility is expected to be a quarter mile or less.

Highs are expected to be in the mid 60s, with northeast winds up to 10 mph.

Mostly cloudy skies are likely this evening.

Lows are expected to be in the lower 50s, with southwest winds up to 15 mph.

Mostly cloudy skies are likely Saturday morning, with a chance of showers in the evening.

Highs are expected to be in the lower 60s, with westerly winds around 10 mph.

 

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