Flowers and a candle now sit next to the garage where Gaspar Puch-Tzek, a line cook at Hog & Rocks, was mistaken for a gang member and shot early Tuesday.
Puch-Tzek, a native of the Yucatan region in Mexico, was standing outside with two co-workers smoking a cigarette when two suspects walked up to them and asked what gang they claimed. Although Puch-Tzek said he didn’t belong to any gang, one of the suspects shot him in the face, police said.
Puch-Tzek was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died Wednesday morning.
On Thursday afternoon, a small group of employees and community members had stopped at the memorial to pay their respects, but no one wanted to talk.
“He was a very nice guy, very calm,” said Sergio Camara, a restaurant employee who had known Puch-Tzek for a year.
The victim’s twin brother, Francisco Puch-Tzek, was there with friends. He stood silently, his right hand nervously rubbing his left.
With the help of Hog & Rocks, Francisco Puch-Tzek is now raising money to take his brother’s body home to Mexico. A Wells Fargo account has been set up in his name.
Puch-Tzek’s murder was the second in the Mission District this year, but at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, another man was murdered at 20th and Hampshire, bringing the number of homicides in the district to three. The first occurred early on the morning of February 26, when, police believe, rival gang members shot and killed Aldo Troncoso at 17th and Mission, a zone known as Sureño territory.
At a community meeting earlier this week, Police Captain Greg Corrales said he believes that Norteño gang members are responsible for Tuesday’s shooting, but he provided no details regarding specific suspects and it is not clear whether the gang task force has identified suspects in the case.
“We have a lot of informants, so we may find out who did it, but people are scared to testify,” Corrales said. “Often the only justice that prevails in these things is street justice.
If you wish to donate, you can stop by Hog & Rocks at 3431 19th Street, or go to a Wells Fargo branch and ask to make a donation to account number 3114477635 (under the name of Francisco Puch-Tzek).