A 22-year-old cook at a San Francisco Mission district restaurant was shot in the head while smoking a cigarette after work in what police say is a case of mistaken identity.
The man worked as a cook at Hog and Rocks restaurant, according to David Esler, one of the restaurant's owners.
After work, at about 12:30 a.m., the victim, a co-worker and another man were standing outside the restaurant at 19th Street near San Carlos Street and having a cigarette when two suspects approached. One of the two attackers shot the victim in the head, according to Esler.
Witnesses reported hearing two gunshots and also seeing two suspects — described as Hispanic men between 25 and 30 years old who were wearing dark clothing and hoodies — running west on 19th Street. The suspects reportedly had a conversation with the victim before the shooting, police spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield said.
The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with injuries that are considered life-threatening.
Police said the men may have mistaken the victim for a gang member, which he is not. San Francisco’s gang task force is investigating, Dangerfield said.
Esler said the victim, described as a father of two, worked two jobs, often leaving the restaurant late at night to start work at a nearby bakery at 4 a.m.
He said the restaurant's staff is distraught about the shooting.
The victim, who had worked there for about six months, was “really a well-liked kid,” Esler said. “The kitchen staff is a tight-knit group, it's just really unfortunate.”
Because of the shooting, the decision was made to not open the restaurant for business Tuesday, according to Esler, who said regular business will resume there Wednesday.
San Francisco Examiner wire services contributed to this report.