Sometime after 8:00 p.m. on March 20, I was one of a dozen shoppers and employees evacuated from Whole Foods on Ocean Avenue by the San Francisco Police Department so officers could search the premises.
A gunman was thought to be holed up somewhere inside. Only a few moments before, shots had been fired near the intersection of Holloway and Brighton avenues. Officers responded, detained two armed men and chased another man who escaped. Though a handgun was recovered, the search had to continue. A man had been shot in an apparent attempted homicide.
Before the night was over, dozens of police units and a helicopter would sweep the area for the suspect who got away. The intersection of Holloway and Brighton, site to Holloway Market and a Laundromat, has been a longtime crime hotspot in the neighborhood. Many people loiter there. The buildings are tagged and illegal dumping occurs there frequently.
There is gang activity in the area. On March 23, police officers conducting a wellbeing check on Brighton Avenue, entered a house where they “saw some vials with suspicious looking substances” and “identified one of the people in the room as a gang member” and then arrested the man with the warrant, according to a police report.
On Jan. 6, there was a shooting there. Though it has been unreported, I was there and spoke to Taraval Police Station Capt. Curtis Lum about the incident. A man parked his car outside of Holloway Market. He went inside the corner store and when returned, a man was in his car. The man shot him and stole his vehicle.
Capt. Lum said it was unknown whether the incidents were related. Taraval Police District is the safest in the city. It has the fewest serious crimes per resident with a rate of 3.45 per 1,000. However, it also had had the Taraval Neighborhood Team, eight officers charged with handling drug and gang-related crime. Budget cuts have forced SFPD to shut down TNT for the time being.
Ingleside’s strip of Holloway Avenue is far different from its original iteration. It once had double the merchants it does today. While the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has an impressive landscaping effort on the way, more work needs to be done to revitalize the corridor and eliminate crime. And that can only be done by our community.
Please consider joining and participating with OMI-NIA Neighbors in Action, which meets every last Thursday of each month. Go to Taraval Police Station’s monthly Community meetings. Stay tuned with the goingson of the Ocean Avenue Association. Tell District 11 Supervisor John Avalos or District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee what you want to see improved or ask how you can help.
Above all else, get to know your neighbors. A well-connected community is a well protected community.
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