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SF restaurant worker shot dead in ‘random’ Mission District attack

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Carlos Chan-Cocom was fatally shot Friday around 2:30 a.m. outside the apartment he shared with family near 24th and Harrison streets. (Courtesy Charlotte Randolph)

A 33-year-old man gunned down in the Mission District early Friday morning in a shooting that also injured his brother is being remembered as a hardworking restaurant worker who immigrated from Mexico.

Carlos Chan-Cocom was outside the apartment he shared with family near 24th and Harrison streets at around 2:32 a.m. when an unidentified gunman shot and killed him, according to police and Charlotte Randolph, one of the owners of the nearby Californios Mexican restaurant where he worked.

Chan-Cocom’s 32-year-old brother was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with injuries considered life-threatening, but Randolph said he is expected to be released from the hospital later this week.

Randolph described the shooting as a random attack on someone who “by no means” was a negative person. Chan-Cocom, who immigrated from Akil in the Yucatan Peninsula, was first hired at the restaurant as a dishwasher more than two years ago but had since been promoted to back server.

“We truly love Carlos, not as a worker and not as an immigrant but as a dear friend,” Randolph said. “He was the fastest, hardest worker that I ever met — genuinely.”

Officer Robert Rueca, a San Francisco police spokesperson, could not confirm whether the shooting was targeted.

Rueca said that no arrest has been made in the homicide. Police initially described the suspects in the shooting as two unidentified men.

Randolph heard the news Friday morning from a friend of Chan-Cocom who he recruited to work as a dishwasher at the restaurant. Randolph said the friend came to her door “just crying, crying, crying.”

“The day that it happened we closed the restaurant and I basically had to kick everyone out and tell them to go home,” said Randolph, adding that the workers there treat each other like family. “It’s been a crazy few days.”

The restaurant set up an online fundraiser for the family of Chan-Cocom that has raised more than $16,000 as of late Tuesday afternoon. The money is expected to be used to for the costs of burial expenses and for medical expenses incurred by his brother.

“Carlos was as kind as a human being can be,” the GoFundMe page said. “He sent money home to his family in the Yucatan and dreamt of returning there to open his own restaurant. We have no doubt it would have been successful.”

The shooting marked the 20th homicide in San Francisco so far this year.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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