Five wounded from shooting in the Mission District

March 15, 2011 12:00:14 PM PDT
San Francisco police are looking for the gunmen who shot five people in the Mission District overnight outside a bar and a popular taqueria. This is the latest in a wave of violence that has the neighborhood worried.

Police say there were lots of people around when the shooting happened on 16th Street near Valencia. They are urging witnesses to come forward with any information because it could help with their investigation.

The owners of the El Tin Tan bar and Pancho Villa Taqueria are cleaning-up. But evidence of the violence is still there. There are bullet holes at both places. It's the latest spot to get hit by gunfire in the Mission District.

"A constant putter of shots. It was constant. It lasted for maybe three seconds " said Mission District resident Danny Cruz.

Police arrived just after 11 last night and found five shooting victims. One with critical injuries and four more with non-life threatening injuries. Police believe the shooting could be gang-related like most of the recent violence in the Mission District. Just in the past few weeks, multiple shootings and stabbings. Police say in most cases, its gangs retaliating against each other.

"I have a red backpack and I make sure not to wear it outside so anyone can see," said Mission Disrict resident Sean Paul Casella.

"Because of gang colors?" asked ABC7's Janelle Wang.

"I guess I'm being precautious but I heard about people getting stabbed, being asked about what gang they are affiliated with. So I'm just careful," said Casella.

The owner of Pancho Villa said he knows that gangs hangout in the area.

"We don't bother anybody and they don't bother us," said Pancho Villa owner Jose Espinoza.

The residents agree, but fear that next time they'll be caught in the crossfire.

"It crossed my mind. I think about that. Innocent bystanders walking by and getting caught up in some gang related activity is frightening," said Mission District resident Becca Jones.

"Do you feel safe living here?" asked Wang.

"I do feel safe. I haven't been bothered or anything. It is kind of a little worrisome," said Mission District resident Tommy Leep.

The owner of the El Tin Tan bar said all the victims were just regular customers who stopped by after work. She hopes police will do more to keep this neighborhood safe.

"It's bad. I don't know what they are going to do about it. That alley way is dark there and I don't know why they don't have more lighting there," said El Tin Tan owner Christina Gomez.

Police say all the victims are all men ranging in age from 26 to 46-year-old. The suspects' descriptions are all young men in the early 20s. Police have released two possible vehicle descriptions; one is a red TransAm, the other is a Chevy Caprice station wagon.


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