The Mission district had a respite from recent gang violence last week, but the shooting of several people outside a 16th Street bar late Monday has police worried it has resumed.
“We really don’t know for sure,” Mission Police Station Capt. Greg Corrales said Tuesday. “We’re saturating the gang hot spots in the district. We want a very visible presence to eliminate any possible retaliation.”
The latest shooting comes after a spate of gang violence between Norteños and Sureños beginning in mid-February that has led to four shootings and two stabbings. A 24-year-old man was killed at 17th and Mission streets Feb. 26 in the Mission’s lone homicide so far this year. The violence culminated March 2 with another shooting in broad daylight at 24th and Harrison streets.
An increased police presence, along with work by community groups with at-risk youths during the past two weeks, is believed to have helped ease the situation.
But about 11 p.m. Monday, according to police, at least two men opened fire outside the El Tin Tan bar at 3065 16th St., which is in a busy area between Mission and Valencia streets. Five men who were standing outside the bar were struck, including a 36-year-old who was seriously injured but is expected to survive.
Bar owner Christina Gomez, who was not working when the shooting occurred but spoke with employees afterward, described a chaotic scene.
“I understand there were two shooters. They were standing across the street at Mission National [Bank] and started shooting from there,” Gomez said.
She said the shooters made their way as far as the middle of the street, firing off about 50 rounds.
“When they started shooting, everybody hit the floor,” Gomez said.
“I guess they didn’t really care who they shot, because they shot my door, the Pancho Villa [restaurant] door got shot and there was a car parked on the street that had bullets in it,” she said.
“This was just craziness,” Gomez said.
Corrales said one of the five victims was a “possible” gang member.
Police Officer Albie Esparza said the possible gang connections in this case are still being investigated, adding that the enforcement operations in the Mission will continue.