The Haight Street merchant accused of shooting a customer in the back during a spat over a chubby Chihuahua was sent back to jail Tuesday after his bail was raised.
A judge granted prosecutors’ request to increase 43-year-old Sam Kazzouh’s bail from $50,000 to $300,000, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
Kazzouh, a Fairfield resident who worked at Fred’s New Lite Supermarket, located near the intersection of Haight Street and Masonic Avenue, allegedly shot and critically injured customer Michael Stafford on Feb. 9.
A witness told The San Francisco Examiner that the customer was in the store with his Chihuahua, named Gizmo, when Kazzouh went to stack shelves nearby.
Kazzouh “pushed Gizmo aside with his foot,” which angered Stafford, the witness said. Stafford began yelling and threatening Kazzouh, the witness said.
Stafford stood in the entrance of the store yelling, “Come out here, Sammy! I’m going to kick your ass!” the witness said.
According to the San Francisco Police Department, Kazzouh then shot Stafford in the back. Officers were less than a block away when they heard the shots and came running. Police found Stafford lying on the ground outside the shop, and they immediately took Kazzouh into custody.
On Feb. 16, Kazzouh pleaded not guilty to multiple charges including assault with a firearm. The case was continued to Tuesday to set the preliminary hearing.
In a tragic twist to the story, Gizmo was killed two weeks after the shooting. The dog ran into traffic on Masonic Avenue following yet another argument his caretakers became involved in, Police Capt. Denis O’Leary said.