'He reached my heart': Friends remember victim killed in SF Walgreens shooting

ByCornell Barnard, Lena Howland KGO logo
Saturday, April 29, 2023
Friends remember victim killed in SF Walgreens shooting
A vigil was held Friday night to remember Banko Brown, a man killed in a shooting at a Walgreens in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A security guard has been arrested as the suspect in a deadly shooting at a San Francisco Walgreens Thursday evening, police say.

Police say the incident happened at around 6:33 p.m. at the store near 4th and Market Streets.

Officers arrived on scene and found a 24-year-old person suffering from gunshot wounds. The person was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but they did not survive.

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Officials at Young Women's Freedom Center, a San Francisco nonprofit that provides support for young women and trans youth of all genders, identified the victim as Banko Brown, a community organizing intern for the nonprofit.

As layers of candles, flowers and balloons sit outside of Walgreens on Market and 4th street, people mourned their friend who was shot inside the store Thursday.

"Banko was loved, by many, many people," Julia Arroyo, co-executive director of the Young Women's Freedom Center, said.

The center is also described as a leadership and advocacy organization that works with people that have navigated violence and poverty.

Arroyo said Brown had been involved with the organization since he was just 12 years old and was currently serving as a community organizing intern.

"He did participatory action research, so he collected data, and surveys in the streets assessing the needs of folks during the pandemic," Arroyo said. "He reached my heart. He really did reach my heart. He was so funny and he was bold too, he knew what he was striving for.

But outside of work, Arroyo says Brown was dealing with his own struggles. He says Brown had been couch surfing while waiting on permanent housing.

"One of my last conversations with him, is that he was in search of what home was," she said.

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Police say that a theft occurred and the alleged suspect in the shooting was an on-duty private security guard.

SFPD has identified that suspect as 33-year-old Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, who they say has been booked into San Francisco County Jail on a homicide charge.

Police said security guards can be armed with guns depending on the situation.

Brown's cousin, who was also at the Walgreens, says this was avoidable.

"Like security wise, if you're not law enforcement, like police, you shouldn't have a gun, because stuff like this happens off of little stuff," Brianna, the victim's cousin said. "Nobody's life is worth something be stole from a store."

Investigators declined to say if Brown was armed.

Police say that there is still an active investigation and ask anyone with information to contact them at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and start the message with SFPD.

Editor's note: This story was updated to accurately represent the victim's name.

Stay with ABC7 News for the latest details on this developing story.

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