Police Chief: Man Wounded by Officer Was Planning Retaliation

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr addresses reporters and community members questions during a public forum on Monday morning. The event was in response to weekend protests and a police-involved shooting in the Mission neighborhood. Photo by Chelsi Moy.

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr addresses reporters and community members questions during a public forum on Monday morning. The event was in response to weekend protests and a police-involved shooting in the Mission neighborhood. Photo by Chelsi Moy.

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The ex-convict wounded by police on Thursday may have been planning to retaliate for an earlier shooting when he encountered officers at 14th and Natoma streets, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said yesterday.

Speaking to Mission District residents and merchants during a town hall meeting at Cornerstone Church on Monday morning, Suhr identified the man wounded by police gunfire as Oscar Barceñas, 22, a member of the Norteño street gang.

Suhr said Barceñas, who was carrying a semiautomatic Tec-9 handgun with 25 bullets in the magazine, may have been planning to take revenge for the shooting that killed Jesus Solis at Treat Avenue and 26th Street on Sept. 16.

Barceñas was shot when a plainclothes officer looking for gang members recognized him and ordered him to stop, police said. After Barceñas brandished the Tec-9, the officer fired two shots. The gun was recovered at the scene.

Barceñas was hospitalized for wounds that were not life-threatening.

“It appears that he was connected somehow to the shooting on Treat Avenue,” Suhr told reporters after the meeting.

Most of those present at the meeting were pleased that police had been able to arrest Barceñas before any more violence occurred.

“Thank God they got this person off the streets,” said Elsa Casillas, whose son, Alberto, was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2007 that remains unsolved. “That means another family won’t have to go through what my family went through.”

The meeting was called after demonstrators, many of them wearing bandanas and masks, raged through parts of the Mission on Thursday and Friday nights in protests against Barceñas’ shooting.

On Thursday night the demonstrators vandalized Mission police station; during Friday night’s protest, several businesses were also vandalized.

Some residents at the meeting Monday morning complained that police had allowed the demonstrators to destroy property during the two incidents.

Suhr explained that those causing damage were not arrested because the demonstrators outnumbered the officers, “and we can’t just wade into the crowd.”

That explanation didn’t satisfy everyone.

“It’s very obvious who’s doing this,” said one man who did not identify himself. “They have physically attacked the Mission police station and broken the bulletproof glass … and [still] no arrests?”

After the meeting, Suhr said he understood people’s concerns.

“My dad was a Mission District merchant. If people think this is lost on us, they’re wrong. When we’ve been able to make arrests, we’ve made them, and that will be our policy going forward.”

16 Comments

  1. Tracy

    So a known gang member doesn’t stop for an officer, brandishes a weapon at police (a tek 9 no less), ends up shot.. and people are protesting what? I don’t get it.

    I’m long time resident of the Inner Mission and have seen both good and bad of both sides of the cops/gangs stories. This incident however, seems like a no brainer that the gang member was at fault and deserved what he got.

  2. Maurice

    All the comments on this story add up to this: you either trust the cops or you don’t. “Long time residents” who say this is a “no brainer” because of police statements and a photograph of the alleged gun probably aren’t “long time” enough to remember the testimony that came out in the Los Siete de la Raza case, and they probably also aren’t paying attention to the evidence revealed in the Oakland Riders case, or any of the news stories about cops being investigated for unnecessarily shooting people. And yes, sometimes guns do just show up when police need them as evidence. So until we get some more evidence and hear what the defense has to say (if the kid even gets any) maybe we should all just shut the f**k up.

    • Thugocracy

      I think it’s pretty clear that there is at the least some degree of dishonesty coming from the police department here. The story they cook up gets more and more far fetched the more heat the department gets for the shooting. Now the guy was on his way to go kill someone on the other side of the mission yet somehow the caped crusaders flew in and stopped him just in the nick of time standing on a street corner 20 blocks away? So last week when people were worried about the shooting on Treat being indicative of a possible surge in gang violence the police assured everyone that it wasn’t gang related, yet now that they need to justify shooting a fleeing “suspect” they are telling us that the Nortenos are out to hit back and that they just interrupted some gang war? Come on now.

      • Jay

        It is unclear to me why you this scenario – one that has played hundreds of times before – to be “dishonest.” This is a standard M.O. with the gang task force. A better question is why you think a convicted felon with a gun (both of those issues are facts) was a “victim.” To be frank, this kind of illogical argument is a big part of the problem.

    • Mike

      it usually comes down to this: generally, those who live within the law do not hold contempt for the police and welcome their service. Those who live at the edge of the law, don’t care about the laws, are want to ignore laws are the ones who care enough to seek fault in the police. The guy was a f–king known ex-con violating the rules of his parole, a known/recognized gang member, and admittedly intended to violate another law. Maybe if this town/hood wasn’t so filled with lawless behavior the cops wouldn’t have to take such caution in a situation (that, by the way, would result the same in Chicago or NYC). Get a life you idiots! You’re better off living one that peacefully coexists with laws and those who enforce them.

    • marco

      So what is your version of this story? A guy is just walking down the street minding his own business and the cops decide they don’t like the looks of him so decide to pump a few bullets in him. The Tec-9 was somebody else’s gun that he just happened to pick up on his way to church and he wasn’t wielding it, rather he was trying to turn it in to the police? What is the motive of the police in this one? I agree that in some cases, police conduct is worthy of protest, but this is clearly not one of them.

  3. Zig

    Maurice

    What we do know a gang member was killed at Garfield park this week, this guy is a gang member and convicted felon and apparently lives in Richmond

    I say we call off the white boy professional protester brigade until we learn more.

  4. SafeStreets

    I may not fully trust the cops, but I certainly trust them a lot more than I trust the gang members in our neighborhood. The cops shoot fewer people than the gangs do, so just running on that statistic alone, I would like to see more cops and fewer gangs.

    • Thugocracy

      “The cops shoot fewer people than the gangs do, so just running on that statistic alone, I would like to see more cops and fewer gangs.”

      The surenos shoot fewer people than the nortenos do, so just running on that statistic alone, would you like to see more surenos and fewer nortenos?

  5. jo

    Wow… it seems the police are damned if they do and dammed if they don’t. This parolee got what he deserved and the cops should be commended for getting out of their car and actually making the Mission a bit safer. I still don’t get the morons protesting? WTF, only in SF would a bunch of punk kids tear businesses/police station. I say next time the Citizens start to beat them when these little punk kids come into our neighborhood causing problems!!!!

  6. Francisco Mission

    I think it comes down along racial lines.
    Alot of the anglo white people are in defense of the police department while the Hispanics are more skeptical of the cops for their long history of targeted violence against the hispanic community.
    I hate how you anglo saxons always assume because someone is in a gang and has a record that he is automatically guilty of any crime filed against him.
    Hispanics are targeted by law enforcement everywhere in the country and are disproportionately in jail/prison and/or on probation then to their anglo counterparts. Hispanics are also usually kept in a low income and low education brackets in this country on top of being arrested and harrased by the”Law”.
    Also people need to understand that since hispanics are on the fringe of society in this country that we use gangs as an underground network of contacts(brotherhood),resources and mutual protection from outside hostile forces.
    If Anglos would let us into the mainstream American culture and would stop discriminating against us then the gangs would turn into legal, lawful organizations with more positive goals, but when your goals are surviving in the ghetto and in the prison industrial-complex of Anglo-America, it can get downright nasty.
    Anyways the Mission has always been a Hispanic neighborhood since the Spanish founded Mission Dolores almost 250 years ago. We been here for 250 years, longer then Anglos-Saxons, longer then Irish people, longer then anyone but the Ohlones who became Hispanics anyways when they adopted christianity and learned Spanish and took on Spanish last names and way of life.They became Hispanicized. So us Hispanic have been here 250 years in this neighborhood.
    I think we know what were doing!
    If it wasnt for our Hispanic gangs that prey on and rob hipsters and scare the shit out of white folks with the occasional shooting or stabbing, the Mission District would have been lost to and heavily gentrified by Anglo Saxons 20 years ago.
    Of course we can never let that happen.
    Us Latinos have been living in California before the USA even exsisted.
    So let the bullets fly until u anglo-saxon-Germanic people show us Hispanic Latinos some god dam respect!

    • melissa

      “Also people need to understand that since hispanics are on the fringe of society in this country that we use gangs as an underground network of contacts(brotherhood),resources and mutual protection from outside hostile forces.” 1930s to 1950s yes! Pachucos! Sadly not true today. It is Latino against Latino, brother against brother and blood against blood.

      “If it wasnt for our Hispanic gangs that prey on and rob hipsters and scare the shit out of white folks with the occasional shooting or stabbing, the Mission District would have been lost to and heavily gentrified by Anglo Saxons 20 years ago.” Happened already (gentrification). I can’t rent a place in my hood for less than $3000. per month.
      “Anglos-Saxons” It refers to settlers from the German regions of Angeln and Saxony, who made their way over to Britain after the fall of the Roman Empire around AD 410. I didn’t know many exsisted anymore.
      I hear a lot of pain and hurt in your words from a history of trauma, just do your homework before venting. Yes, racism is still alive but classism more so. I hope you can heal, but I realy wish we could all COEXIST.

    • Blurpy

      Nice troll post.

Comments are closed.