Bay Area Fil-Am teen recovering after being shot in the face

Jessica Dimalanta, a 19-year-old from Vallejo, California, was reportedly attending car stunt shows with four friends in San Francisco on Sunday, March 21, when a group of men pulled up in a dark sedan and opened fire on the grey Lexus she was riding in. | Photo courtesy of Dexter Martin

Family alleges incident is a hate crime 

A FILIPINA American teen has been discharged from the hospital after getting shot in the face in San Francisco during an incident her family is calling a hate crime.

Jessica Dimalanta, a 19-year-old from Vallejo, California, was reportedly attending car stunt shows with four friends in San Francisco on Sunday, March 21, when a group of men pulled up in a dark sedan and opened fire on the grey Lexus she was riding in.

Dimalanta and a 19-year-old male were hit, while their other three friends were unharmed. The suspects fled the scene.

She was taken to UCSF Mission Bay Hospital in downtown San Francisco, and was later transferred to SF General Hospital, according to a report from Daily Mail.

Her uncle, Dexter Martin, confirmed with the Asian Journal that Dimalanta is Filipina.

He started a GoFundMe page for her, claiming that his niece was a “victim of a hate crime” for being Asian.

 

According to Martin, a bullet went straight through Dimalanta’s right eye.

“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. She is now permanently impaired,” he wrote.

He also shared that Dimalanta was diagnosed with diabetes, and while in care, tested positive for COVID-19.

“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,” he said, adding that she will also require physical and mental therapy in the future.

Dimalanta, who recently turned 19 in March, was scheduled to start school last week to become a health care provider but is now unable to attend due to her injury.

“Jessica is the sweetest, kind, caring person with an angelic voice, loves to sing and spend time with her family. 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,” wrote Martin.

He also condemned the surge in violence against Asians in the United States, calling for an end to hate and racism.

“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,” said Martin.

In an update posted on Saturday, March 27, he said Dimalanta has been discharged but is currently in quarantine.

“It’s been very tough for our family, currently and still processing the events. Our primary focus right now is my niece’s recovery, beating COVID and her well being. As one would expect, she is very traumatized and needs her space to heal as well,” Martin said.

The GoFundMe page has since raised over $63,000 to help with Dimalanta’s recovery.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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