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5 wounded in shootout at barber shop when suspect opened fire on officers in San Francisco


J.K. Dineen and Evan Sernoffsky
San Francisco Chronicle

A San Francisco police officer and five others, including a male juvenile, were wounded in a wild shootout inside a barber shop Wednesday afternoon near the busy intersection of Geneva Avenue and Mission Street, city officials and witnesses said.

The gunfire broke out about 4:40 p.m. at the Amazon Barber Shop on the 900 block of Geneva Avenue, on the edge of the Crocker-Amazon and Excelsior neighborhoods, sending dozens of schoolchildren and pedestrians ducking for cover.

The police officer was struck in the leg by a bullet and is in fair condition at San Francisco General Hospital. Two of the others wounded were in critical condition and three were in stable condition, according to police.

One of the five civilians hit was a suspect in the shootout and was arrested. He was in critical condition.

At 4:30, police received a call from a parent on the 200 block of Amazon Avenue, near Geneva Avenue, reporting that his or her son was in possession of a gun. As police officers arrived, the suspect fled to the barbershop at 949 Geneva Ave., about a block away. At some point after police entered the barbershop, the suspect started shooting at them.

Ed Nasrah, the owner of Daniel’s Pharmacy, which is adjacent to the barbershop, said he was in the back of the store with six or seven customers when he heard what sounded like 20 to 25 rounds fired.

He ran to the front and locked the door. “I couldn’t believe what was happening,” he said. “I’ve never experienced something like this before, and I’ve been here 30 years. We have had shootings before, but never in broad daylight or during business hours. It was scary, the way it happened.”

He described a chaotic scene with adults ducking and diving behind cars and children crying. After the shooting, the police officer who was shot crawled along the sidewalk, seeking refuge behind a patrol vehicle in the street, where he was treated. Paramedics dragged one person who had been shot in the foot into the pharmacy, where they attended to his wound.

“The guy was screaming in agony, ‘I got shot, I got shot,’” Nasrah said. “Everyone was running and ducking for cover. Two kids were screaming outside the barbershop because they didn’t know if their father was OK.”

The intersection is a hectic transit hub at rush hour where five bus lines converge. One witness said she was stepping off the 8-Bayshore bus when she saw the suspect and police officers trading gunfire outside the barbershop. She described a confusing scene, with pedestrians, some of them children, diving behind and under parked cars to avoid the bullets.

“It was a shootout, and I saw an officer fall to the floor,” she said. “It was intense — everybody was trying to get away. A lot of people and kids were running from the scene toward Mission Street.”

Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, who represents the neighborhood, said, “The good news is that the officer is in stable condition, and it looks like everyone else will pull through.”

He called the Amazon Barber Shop “a great family-run business” with a loyal neighborhood customer base. “I want people to know the neighborhood is safe and that barbershop has never been a problem at all. A lot of my strongest constituents frequent that place.”

Sgt. Michael Andraychak of the San Francisco Police Department said there will be a town hall meeting about the incident within 10 days.

“It’s still the early stages of the investigation, with very little information available,” he said. “Folks are receiving medical treatment, and witnesses still need to be interviewed.”

Chronicle staff writer Annie Ma contributed to this report.

J.K. Dineen and Evan Sernoffsky are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers Email: jdineen@sfchronicle.com, esernoffsky@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @sfjkdineen, @evansernoffsky


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