Suspect in custody after double homicide

Japantown shootings also leave bartender injured

Two people were killed and another was injured after a man opened fire at a popular nightspot in Japantown on Saturday night, according to police.

The shootings began at 9:17 p.m. at a bar at Post and Buchanan streets, according to police Sgt. Steve Mannina.

He said 25-year-old Joseph Melcher of Redwood City allegedly entered the bar and spoke with three women inside before firing his handgun.

Song Sun Lee, 34, of San Bruno was pronounced dead at the scene after being shot at the bar and 22-year-old Kam Yan Li died Sunday, according to the San Francisco Medical Examiner.

Melcher is suspected of shooting Lee, Li and a 40-year-old woman who was working as a bartender. The bartender’s identity was not released.

Both the 40-year-old woman and Li were taken to San Francisco General Hospital, police said. The woman was in stable condition, according to Mannina.

Lee and the bartender were shot in the bar while Li was shot after Melcher allegedly left the bar and got into an altercation with him and a woman who was with him.

The suspect then allegedly shot Li in the plaza area of Japantown, according to Mannina.

Lee was sitting at the bar when she was hit by gunfire. Another bartender and another woman were able to escape the restaurant without being shot, according to Mannina.

Mannina said several 911 calls were made and the suspect’s description was given to the police department.

Plainclothes narcotics officers saw Melcher get into a car and followed him. Heavy traffic slowed Melcher’s alleged escape and the officers took him into custody without resistance at Fillmore and Oak streets.

Melcher is being held on suspicion of homicide, two counts of attempted homicide and two counts of assault with a firearm.

sfarooq@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Azikiwee Anderson of Rize Up Bakery pulls and twists sourdough into shape on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s Rize Up Bakery serving up sourdough with a call to action

Azikiwee Anderson wakes up most mornings just before dawn to start cooking… Continue reading

Although The City has been shut down and largely empty, people have enjoyed gathering in places such as Dolores Park. <ins>(Al Saracevic/The Examiner)</ins>
Come back to San Francisco: The City needs you now

Time to get out of the house, people. The City’s been lonely… Continue reading

A surveillance camera outside Macy’s at Union Square on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Is the tide turning against surveillance cameras in SF?

Crime-fighting camera networks are springing up in commercial areas all around San… Continue reading

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott speaks alongside Mayor London Breed at a news conference about 2019 crime statistics at SFPD headquarters on Jan. 21, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What the media gets wrong about crime in San Francisco

By Lincoln Mitchell Special to The Examiner Seemingly every day now, you… Continue reading

Vice President Kamala Harris is under fire for her comments in Guatemala earlier this week. (Examiner file photo.)
SF immigration advocates slam Kamala Harris’ ‘betrayal’ to her past

Kamala Harris’ comments earlier this week discouraging Central Americans from traveling to… Continue reading

Most Read