Excelsior bar faces political pressure to close after fatal shooting

A city supervisor is calling on the Entertainment Commission to rescind the permit for a bar in the Excelsior where a security guard allegedly shot and killed a patron several months ago, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.

Supervisor Ahsha Safai said Tuesday he would ask the commission to revoke the entertainment permit for La Oficina bar at 4234 Mission St. in response to the killing of 30-year-old Alvaro Palma in May.

“There’s been a lot of complaints and problems with this bar,” said Safai, who represents the neighborhood on the Board of Supervisors. “But this is such an egregious act — a murder — that I believe that it just needs to be shut down.”

The owner of La Oficina could not immediately be reached for comment. The Entertainment Commission approved a permit for Jose Escolero to operate the bar in February 2014 despite security concerns.

“This has been a nuisance bar ever since the new owner came in,” Safai said.

Meanwhile, the security guard, 45-year-old David Sanchez, was arraigned Monday at the Hall of Justice on five felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with the homicide.

Police arrested Sanchez shortly after the killing but he was later released because prosecutors did not have enough evidence to charge him with the crime, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Safai said Palma’s family has been seeking justice since Sanchez was released from jail. The family has been gathering signatures in the neighborhood for a petition to close the bar, according to Safai.

“They kept the pressure on,” Safai said. “All they kept saying was ‘Justice, justice, justice.’ We gave the district attorney time to find the right evidence.”

On Saturday, Sanchez was booked into County Jail and is being held on $10 million bail.

Sanchez is facing the felony charges of murder, assault causing great bodily injury with a firearm, possession of a controlled substance while armed, possession of a controlled substance for sale and unlawful possession for sale of a controlled substance.

He is also facing a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed firearm.

Safai said he would appear at the Entertainment Commission in October.

Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeink

Michael Barba
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