SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The sounds of gunfire interrupted shoppers getting a head start on Black Friday. The search for the shooter prompted police to lockdown a busy parking garage near San Francisco's Westfield shopping center, a few blocks away from Union Square.
The shooting happened just after 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on Mission Street between Fourth and Fifth streets. On one side of the street, there's Bloomingdale's and the Westfield Shopping Centre and on the other side is the large Fifth and Mission Parking Garage.
The parking structure was locked down for two hours while a tactical team systematically searched every car and every floor. The shooter got away. The victim is in critical condition but is expected to live.
"And I just heard a bunch of shots. I think it was like three, four shots, then everybody outside just started running inside, everybody. It was crazy," witness Majed Abuzahriyeh said.
It was a chaotic and scary scene. Martin Mueller was actually inside the parking garage when he heard the gunfire.
"And the shots kept on going on and everybody started screaming and ducking for cover like a bomb had gone off," Florida resident Martin Mueller said.
He took cover too, but not before seeing the man who'd been shot.
"We saw the victim, by that time, come running out in the street and fell down, obviously had been shot," Mueller said.
Police say the victim was paying at the garage cashier on Mission Street when the shooter approached him and fired multiple times, hitting him more than once in the lower extremities.
"It doesn't appear to be a random shooting. We believe that they may have known each other," San Francisco Officer Carlos Manfredi said.
Police had reason to think the shooter was in the parking garage, so they locked it down to search, but didn't find him. The gunman is described only as a man in his 20s.
"We're reviewing all of the video surveillance video that we captured and we're also doing systematic checks throughout the other buildings, block by block," Manfredi said
Once the garage reopened customers found themselves in long lines facing big bills.
"We're having to pay full price even though we weren't able to get our car out for two hours," parking garage customer Paris Bullard said.
It was a frustrating start to a holiday weekend.