A 22-year-old cook at the restaurant Hog & Rocks was shot and critically wounded at 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday as he smoked a cigarette on San Carlos, just around the corner from the restaurant, witnesses said.

Police say that it looks like a case of mistaken identity, and they are still searching for two male suspects, approximately 25 years old.

“The two suspects believed that the victim was a gang member and that isn’t the case,” Officer Carlos Manfredi said.

The two suspects were seen fleeing westbound on 19th Street, Manfredi said. Witnesses told authorities that they were both wearing dark clothing and hoodies.

Hog & Rocks owner David Esler said the kitchen had just closed and a few employees were cleaning up when the shooting occurred. The male victim, whose name has not been released, was standing in front of a garage next to the restaurant when the two suspects approached him. The victim had been working at the restaurant for approximately six months, Esler said.

A witness who lives in the building above Hogs & Rocks said she heard two young men ask the cook if he was in a gang. “No, no,” the cook responded.

Then she heard two gunshots. “They were loud gunshots, someone screamed, ‘Call the police,’” she said, still shaken from the experience. “I ran out and he was shot in the head.”

The witness said there was a lot of blood, and the victim appeared to be lying on the ground. It looked to her like he might not have survived, but Hogs & Rocks’ owner said today that the employee is still alive, although in critical condition. The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, according to authorities.

“I’m shocked; this is a nice area. I haven’t heard a gunshot in three or four years,” said Michael Hammash, a buser at Hog & Rocks who has lived in the building for 14 years.

Esler said that although there was a shooting at 19th and Mission Streets recently, crime in the area is down compared to when he first opened the restaurant in July 2010.

“Police need to be around here more,” Esler said.

The last fatal gang-related shooting happened in February at 17th and Mission streets.

We are following this story and will update later.

A source told Mission Loc@l that the victim of the shooting had two children but he later informed us that the information was incorrect. This article has been corrected.

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Hélène Goupil

Hélène Goupil is a former editor at Mission Local who now works independently as a videographer and editor. She's the co-author of "San Francisco: The Unknown City" (Arsenal Pulp Press).

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  1. I live just a block away. Mission neighborhood has been getting more and more violent and lots of gang related activities lately. A few months ago, my next door neighbor got mugged at the corner of our apartment. Then last week, a small mom and pop jewerly shop was robbed when the owner’s wife was opening the store in the morning. She was beaten quite badly!
    Something needs to be done and done quick. We need to make our neighborhood safer for all of us, the kids and all that come to shop, visit and dine!

  2. This is very sad news. One question, isn’t obvious who belongs to this gang, since they all hang around in a one block area….

    1. missionman, those gangmembers don’t just hang out in a one block area…those gangs have been operating in the Mission/city for decades (far longer than 99% of the Mission’s new hipster/yuppie residents have lived there), and they claim the entire neighborhood (the dividing line is around 20-22nd street it seems), not to mention other parts of the city such as the Tenderloin, SOMA, Excelsior, etc. Hundreds of murders in SF over the past few decades can be attributed to gang violence between Nortenos, Surenos and more recently, MS-13, and much of it occurred in the Mission district. Also, it’s not too uncommon for innocent people to get shot/beaten/stabbed/killed in mistaken identity. In fact 6 innocent people were murdered in the Excelsior in 2008, by MS-13, all in mistaken identity (plus one robbery). Anyways, there were close to 20 murders in the Mission in 2008 alone (half of them within a three week period and within the same half mile radius near Garfield Park/the projects there, which is the heart of Norteno Territory), though the last couple years have been relatively quiet, largely due to increased police presence after those extra violent three weeks in ’08.

      RIP to the victim of this shooting, sad stuff.