Community honors San Francisco store worker beaten to death trying to stop robbery

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Friday, September 1, 2023
Community honors SF worker beaten to death trying to stop robbery
Many gathered outside the Richmond Market in San Francisco for a vigil Thursday night in honor of one employee who was beaten to death by a thief.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Disbelief and heartbreak for many in one San Francisco neighborhood. On Thursday night, many gathered outside the Richmond Market for a vigil in honor of one of the corner store's employees.

The man was known as John. He died Tuesday after being brutally beaten with a baseball bat last week.

Friends say it was while trying to stop a thief from robbing the store.

"I've been here the last couple days and people have just been streaming by constantly all day long bringing flowers and telling stories about how special John was," said Heather Minner.

Minner lives above Richmond Market.

She's a local at the shop and says John was one of the kindest people she knew.

Minner tells ABC7 News John, along with his cat Nancy, was a staple of this community.

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Someone who greeted everyone with a smile and a wave.

"When he asked you how you were doing, he really wanted to know." Minner said.

For the past week, dozens of people have dropped off flowers, candles and handwritten notes for John.

Others, like Devlin Mannle, just wanted to stop by the store to remember.

"I was very shocked when I found out he was attacked," he said.

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Mannle has lived nearby for over 12 years and frequently shops here.

He says he wants city leaders to do more to stop violent crimes and help people like John.

"My bubble is bursting a little bit more. I mean obviously I've been aware, but relatively it's really quiet out here," Mannie said.

While nothing will bring John back, those who knew him say his presence will carry on.

Both through the store that he cared for, and the community he loved.

"Maybe John's last gift to us all, that now when he was trying to connect with us, now he's having us all connect with each other," Minner said.

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