Last Friday, Damien González — a recent graduate of Civic Center Secondary School who volunteered with the Latino Task Force — was fatally shot at the Mission Rec Center. He was 18. 

Damien González at his recent high school graduation. Courtesy: SFUSD 2023 High School Graduation Recordings

González was reportedly playing basketball when he was targeted by a masked suspect. Police responded to a reported shooting at around 3 pm on August 18, and found González suffering from life-threatening gunshot wounds. González was transported to a local hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

By Monday, August 21, a memorial had been set up in front of Mission Rec Center. Among the many velas displayed on the floor, one read: “I love you Mijo so much! And you will always be remembered…Thank you for being the best son! Ever my ear & support. Love you! Mom.”

Photo: Alexis Terrazas

One of González’s close friends was present Monday, placing a red rosary and flowers at the head of the memorial.  

“He was a good person. And he didn’t deserve to die like that,” his friend said. 

Later that Monday, a press conference was held by González’s family and community.

Damien’s mother, Ariana Sanchez, was one of the many who attended the press conference. 

“He was a great kid. He was about to be a dad. He was so excited. Next week was going to be his baby shower,” his mother said. “This was a stupid act, what they did to him. If you guys have anything, anything, go forward to police. This can’t be another kid in the street dead, with no answers.”  

Damien’s mother, Ariana Sanchez. Photo: Harvey Lozada

González’s grandmother, Teresa Santos, also spoke. 

“What can I tell you, he was a good kid. He was a kid who lived to help his community. He was loving, the kind of kid who would give you the food off of his plate,” Santos said through tears. 

A Go Fund Me has been set up to support González’s unborn child. , 

No arrests have yet been made.

Photo: Harvey Lozada