Watch CBS News

San Francisco Transit Advocate Clings To Life After Getting Caught In Mission Shootout

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- A promising young man is fighting for his life in a San Francisco hospital Monday, three days after being caught in a hail of gunfire in San Francisco's Mission District.

There's not much to show that anything happened at 14th and Guerrero outside of a bit of caution tape hanging from a street post. Witnesses said at around 8:20 p.m. Friday evening, 50 to 60 shots were fired in a shootout between two groups of unidentified people at the intersection.

22-year-old San Francisco resident Courtney Brousseau just happened to be standing in the middle and was critically injured in the firefight. He is on life support now with little chance of surviving.

A 17-year-old boy also arrived at the hospital with injuries from the shooting, which were not considered life-threatening, according to police.

"You know, this is a senseless tragedy," said Alexander Wilfert. He graduated from Cal with Brousseau last year and remembers him as a young man of passion and drive. They worked together in student government. Brousseau was the kind of guy who could actually get things done.

"One of the most inspiring things about him was he was someone that you knew was going to go out there and make a difference in whatever community he was part of," Wilfert said. "So it's obviously heartbreaking, but it was something I try to remember whenever I think of him."

Brousseau was already well-liked and well-respected by those in the upper reaches of San Francisco city government. Fascinated by transportation, he founded a group called Gay for Transit and worked tirelessly to improve public transportation by bringing people together.

Sabrina Van Zuiden, another friend of Brousseau's, says she is devastated by the news and refuses to think of him as just another crime statistic.

"He's not a 22-year old man with a critical wound," she said. "He's Courtney. He's our friend. He's our loved one. He's a pillar in our community."

Brousseau worked at Twitter. The social media platform is alive with condolences and tributes to the young activist.

Among those leaving comments on his Twitter account was state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who said, "We're praying for you, Courtney, and sending positive energy."

In his final tweet posted just five minutes before he was shot, Brousseau wrote: "I just ate a delicious burrito in Dolores Park and for a brief moment everything felt okay."

Things are anything but okay for those who love him.

"He was supposed to change the world," said Van Zuiden. "You know, Courtney was going to change the world and that's something that everyone who meets him just knows. He's done so much already, for everyone he's ever met and people who have never met him. He's been working hard for all of us."

San Francisco police aren't commenting about the crime other than to say it is unacceptable, but authorities are asking the public for help with leads.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.