A dispute over less than $300 led Barry White Jr. to savagely kill two jewelry store employees and critically injure their boss last week, prosecutors said Tuesday.
The 23-year-old Antioch resident is facing 16 felony counts connected to the Friday afternoon incident at 888 Brannan St. in South of Market that prosecutors said could have been more deadly had police not stopped White before he could fetch a loaded AK-47 from his car.
The victims were three workers at Victoga Inc., a jewelry store inside the GiftCenter & JewelryMart. Lina Lim, 51, a Daly City resident, and Khin Min, 35, of San Francisco were killed. The store's owner, Vic Hung, was shot and stabbed but is expected to survive.
White was emotionless during his first court appearance Tuesday and did not enter a plea. He is expected to return to court July 24.
Prosecutor Scot Clark described White as being callous and calculating during Friday's incident, which was captured on video by three separate "unusually high-quality" cameras.
White allegedly went to Victoga that afternoon because he felt he had overpaid for jewelry he had recently purchased. He requested to be reimbursed less than $300 from Hung, which led to a dispute, Clark said.
At one point, White asked Hung for change to feed his parking meter, which Hung reportedly handed over. White left the shop but returned armed with a gun and folding knife, prosecutors said, and waited 20 minutes for other customers to leave.
Then came a series of events that District Attorney George Gascón described Tuesday as one of the most horrific crimes he's seen in his decadeslong law enforcement career.
Once the store was clear of customers, White allegedly walked up to the counter and chatted with Hung again before pulling out a revolver and shooting Hung three times and Lim once. After Hung and Lim retreated to a back room, Clark said, Min panicked and ran straight toward White instead of to the exit.
White attempted to shoot her but had run out of bullets. Instead, he sliced her from ear to ear with the knife, Clark said.
White is next seen on surveillance video chasing after Hung and Lim, prosecutors said. Hung was then slashed across the face, while Lim was nearly decapitated.
Covered in blood, White reportedly went to the hallway to reload his revolver. At this point, police arrived and encountered White in front of the store but did not know whether he was a victim or assailant. They would soon find out, Clark said, because when White ran into the Taqueria Dos Amigos next door he opened fire on six officers. None were hit.
"After shooting all rounds of his .38-caliber revolver, he surrendered," prosecutors said.
Throughout the attack, Clark said, White can be seen on video exhibiting "almost no excitement."
With White detained, police searched his vehicle and found a loaded AK-47 and also an extended ammunition clip, Clark said.
"We're grateful that was not used," police Officer Albie Esparza said Tuesday.
Min's grieving family members who attended Tuesday's hearing were at a loss to explain what happened. Her brother, 48-year-old Tun Oo, said his sister had moved here from Myanmar, also known as Burma, and began working for Hung about 13 years ago.
Oo began crying as he described his sister as a kind person loved by her family and friends who enjoyed her job and liked her boss.
Before Friday's incident, White was facing charges for allegedly ramming an Antioch police vehicle with his car in 2009.