A rock fight between young children escalated into a shooting that left a 19-year-old man clinging to his life after an upset adult sprayed an apartment with at least 15 bullets Wednesday evening, police said.

According to a resident of the Ponderosa Court residence that was sprayed, her grandchildren were playing at a nearby park when one threw a rock that struck another child, who became upset.

"The kids came home and they squared it away with the other kids, but the family got all rowdy," said the woman. She did not want her name used but said the victim is her cousin. "It went from kid stuff to teenagers to adults," she said.

Police said that after an argument between two men, one of them went back to the apartment, and another man, who had disagreed with him, left and returned with a gun shortly before 8 p.m.

The victim's cousin said the gunman ran down the street toward the apartment, and when the victim closed the front door, the gunman fired through it with an automatic weapon. She said her cousin was struck six times and "might not make it."

She said the children involved in the rock fight are 4, 7, 9 and 10 years old, and all were in the residence at the time of the shooting.

A dozen wildly spaced bullet holes could be seen in the door Thursday, with three more in the adjacent wall and doorjamb. Rounds passed through interior walls of the building and into a laundry room.


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Arriving officers could not find the gunman or his associates, but investigators think they are affiliated with people who live nearby.

The gunman was described as black, 25 to 30 years old, 5-foot-10 to 6-foot tall, wearing a white T-shirt, dark-colored jacket and bluejeans.

"We need more people to come forward," said the victim's cousin, who added that a number of people heard the argument and saw the gunman running down the street.

Hayward police ask anyone with information to call them at 510-293-7000.

Contact Eric Kurhi at 510-293-2473. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi. Read his blog at IBAbuzz.com/hayword.