San Francisco Sheriff Hennessey comments on Castro
Sheriff Michael Hennessey.
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
November 1, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - After added planning and scaled-back
festivities, San Francisco city officials are still trying to
make sense of what happened on another
violent Halloween night in the Castro neighborhood.
According to San Francisco police, 10 people were shot near 16th
and Market streets around 10:45 p.m. after two groups of about
15 juveniles opened fire on each other.
The victims all survived with non-life-threatening injuries.
"There's going to be a lot of soul-searching about what
we're going to do next year,'' said San Francisco Sheriff Michael
Hennessey, who was at the event supervising the nine checkpoints
where sheriff's deputies checked for alcohol and weapons.
According to Hennessey, one of the few problems with the night's
festivities was a series of "pinch points'' and "bottlenecks''
where the tens of thousands of revelers bunched into tight crowds.
In total, the Sheriff's Department made 25 arrests, mostly of
men and mostly for public drunkenness. This year marked the first
time city officials planned to stop the event around 11 p.m. by
calling in street sweepers and cleaning crews.
"Once the shooting happened, it was pretty clear that the
night was over,'' Hennessey said. "We kept things calm by
opening the gates and telling people to leave, urging people to
While police have yet to issue a statement on whether gangs were
involved in the shooting, Hennessey expressed concern that gang
tensions could manifest themselves in the jails.
"We're highly on edge,'' he said.
This year's shooting is not the first time violence has broken
out at the annual Halloween party. The city took over the event
after five people were stabbed during the 2002 celebration.
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