SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — For the past six months, 2-year-old Nylah has often asked her grandfather, where is dad? Her grandfather points to the sky and answers, he’s up there.
Nylah’s father, Brandon Alexander Cheese, was killed while playing basketball with friends at a preschool’s park on April 3. Cheese, 22, and another young man, 20-year-old Kieran Carlson, were shot to death in broad daylight in Alice Chalmers Park. Two more victims who were also shot in the melee survived.
The killers slipped away from the Crocker-Amazon neighborhood before San Francisco Police Department officers arrived. As of this week, no suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made.
“Our family is shattered. Someone has to know some information,” Cheese’s sister, Silvia Lopez, told KRON4 Tuesday.
“This is my younger brother, my only brother. He adores his daughter. This child is hurting. There is nothing worse than having a 2-year-old ask, when is dad coming home?” Lopez said. “These people have caused irreversible damage to a child who had a wonderful relationship with her dad that should have lasted her entire life.”
Police said the gunmen’s getaway vehicle was a silver Honda Accord. An image of the Honda was captured on surveillance video as it fled on Brunswick Avenue. There is a $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in connection to the quadruple shooting.
Lopez continues to post the SFPD’s reward poster around the neighborhood and ask residents if they have any information that could help police with the investigation.
The park was right across the street from where Cheese and his sister attended grade school, Longfellow Elementary. Lopez said violence has plagued the neighborhood for decades.
“Growing up there were always shootings and violence,” Lopez said.
But her greatest fear became reality on April 3 when she rushed to a hospital immediately after the shooting. A hospital nurse told her, “I’m sorry, his injuries were non-survivable.”
“You can be a sweet, innocent, intelligent human being and have something horrible happen to you,” Lopez said.
Cheese worked as a private security guard and hair barber. In his spare time, Cheese gave homeless men and women free haircuts along Market Street with hopes to restoring their self-confidence.
“He was full of life. He had a dreamer mentality. I want justice for my brother. We’ve had zero answers, zero closure, and almost zero hope. I love my brother so much, I refuse to give up,” Lopez said. “I don’t want people to forget my brother, he matters.”
Lopez said if violence like what happened to her brother can happen even in parks where children play, San Francisco city leaders need to do more for public safety and taking guns off the streets.
The San Francisco Police Department’s investigation is still active. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Sgt. Nico Discenza at 415-553-9069, the SFPD 24-Hour Tip Line at 415-575-4444 or by sending a text message to Text-A-Tip at TIP411.