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.