A Bay Area was shot ‘through her right eye’ last weekend in an incident that her family is calling a hate crime.
The shooting comes as the United States grapples with a surge in anti-Asian violence, including a series of shootings in Atlanta that took the lives of eight people.
Police have not confirmed that those shootings were hate crimes, but they haven’t taken it off the table either.
Jessica Dimalanta, 19, was attending car stunt shows with four friends in San Francisco in the early morning hours of Sunday, March 21, when several suspects allegedly in a dark sedan opened fire on the grey Lexus she was riding in.
Jessica Dimalanta, 19, is in the hospital after being shot ‘through her right eye’ after a car stunt show in San Francisco on March 21
A GoFundMe set up for Dimalanta’s care reveals that she has been ‘permanently impaired’ after being shot while riding in a car
Dimalanta and a 19-year-old male were hit, while the other three friends were spared as the suspects fled the scene.
She was then taken to UCSF Mission Bay Hospital in San Francisco.
Dimalanta was later transferred to San Francisco General Hospital in non-life-threatening condition.
Police have not made reference to a hate crime during their investigation, according to NextShark.
But multiple family members of Dimalanta, including her uncle and mother, claim that she was targeted for being Asian.
Dimalanta’s uncle, Dexter Martin, started a GoFundMe page for his niece, which has raised over $38,000 for her care so far.
While in the hospital, Dimalanta also tested positive for COVID-19 and went into quarantine
According to Martin, a bullet went ‘straight through her right eye,’ leaving the teenager ‘permanently impaired.’
‘While doctors were able to remove the shell, fragments still are embedded in her face, and she is unable to chew and speak without pain,’ Martin wrote.
Dimalanta, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes, also tested positive for COVID-19 while in the hospital, forcing her into quarantine.
Intersection of Quint Street and Oakdale Avenue in San Francisco where the shooting allegedly occurred
‘Jessica will need medical care, is afraid for her life, and does not want to go outside because she fears something else is happening to her,’ Martin says, noting she will require physical and mental therapy.
‘Jessica is the sweetest, kind, caring person with an angelic voice, loves to sing and spend time with her family,’ Martin says.
‘She helps her single mother take care of her younger siblings, nieces, and nephews. She did not deserve to have to suffer like this. No one deserves this at all.’
Dimalanta was set to begin classes this week with the goal of becoming a healthcare provider, but her injuries have put that plan on hold.
The GoFund Me concludes: ‘We also want to bring awareness to the anti-Asian violence and racism that is evolving around us. Let’s, please work together to stop senseless violent hate crimes and continue to take care of one another.
‘We are praying for past and current victims of these crimes, and hope we can move toward a safer and more inclusive society.’
Two months ago, Thai immigrant Vicha Ratanapakdee, 84, was killed in San Francisco in an incident widely believed to be a hate crime.
A 19-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder and elder abuse, according to CNN.
Hate crime charges have not been filed in the case, though, demonstrating the uphill task of proving a crime was motivated solely to hate.