A police officer corners off a section of 24th and Harrison Street after a masked man opened fire. Photo by Francisco Barradas.

One month, three blocks, four occurrences. These are the latest stats for 24th Street, and they refer not to restaurant openings but to shootings.

Since June 26, police have been called four times because of shots fired on the corridor — and three of the incidents occurred when the sun was shining overhead, patrons were lined up outside coffee shops and residents were walking home.

The shootings are all under investigation and police believe three of them are related to a gang that claims the street as its own: the Norteños.

“Obviously four shootings in 30 days is indicative that something is either stirring within the Norteños or Sureños or another rival gang is coming into the neighborhood,” Police Chief Greg Suhr told Mission Local.

The incidents occurred like this:

Tuesday, June 26, 3:20 p.m.: A 37-year-old man is shot in the stomach near 24th and Harrison streets. That incident is being investigated as a domestic violence dispute, Suhr said.

Tuesday, July 10, 3 p.m.: A 19-year-old is shot in the abdomen at the corner of 24th and Folsom streets. Jesse Hirsch, a food critic for the San Francisco Examiner, tweets from the scene: “Round of gunshots right outside Philz on 24th. Everyone dived under tables, owner locked front door.” A stray bullet hits the window of a liquor store diagonally across the street. No arrests are made.

Friday, July 20, 11:30 p.m.: Two suspects fire at a 20-year-old man as he walks home near 24th and Shotwell streets. He sustains an abrasion on his hand as a result of ducking the bullets. Soon after, police arrest two suspects when officers find a firearm in their car. It does not appear that the victim and suspects knew each other, according to police.

Monday, July 23, 2 p.m.: A masked gunman opens fire at 24th and Harrison streets and is last seen running toward 25th Street. No one is injured. Just as in the incident outside of Philz, a longtime nearby business owner allows a bystander inside his shop before he locks the door. No arrest is made.

“Now they are more shameless, shooting in plain daylight,” said the business owner, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons. “It used to be that they would stab each other or punch each other, but now they use guns.”

While daylight gunfights in the Mission are not unheard of, the number of recent incidents concerns Suhr, who used to head the Mission police station.

“These guys, they don’t even have watches,” he said. “It’s where you are standing, the color of your skin, and stupid — that is a recipe for disaster.”

The latest incident is particularly troublesome because it occurred right outside a preschool. Mission Girls, the nonprofit group that runs the preschool and after-school program, could not immediately be reached for comment.

While violent crime in the Mission has been steadily decreasing over the last few years, problems with gangs continue.

The San Francisco City Attorney

“I don’t know that it’s ever gone away. It may have hit a low ebb,” Suhr said. “Every year during the summer there is this increase when the weather is good. And the weather has been good this year.”

In 2007, the San Francisco City Attorney established a gang injunction against known Norteño members. Under the injunction, the members could be arrested if they step into what’s known as the safety zone.

Supporters of the injunction point to the fact that since then, murders in the Mission have decreased dramatically.

The area covered by the Mission police station, which also includes the Castro and parts of Noe Valley, experienced 18 homicides in 2008, most of which were gang-related. So far this year, the station is on track to record just as many homicides as it did 2011 — six.

The incidence of shots fired, however, has remained steady. As of June 16, 20 had been recorded, according to the latest Compstat figures available. There were 31 last year and 37 in 2010.

Ricardo Garcia-Acosta of the Community Response Network, whose staff does street outreach and crisis management throughout the city, said that the new uptick in violence might have to do with old grudges.

“We might be able to save this one guy this time, but these groups never forget,” he said. “It might be two years later and they’re thinking, ‘We never got them.’”

The response network is currently focusing its efforts on the city’s south side, which is experiencing an increase in homicides.

Suhr said that he intends to curb the violence with the help of the newly formed Major Crimes Unit, a task force that triangulates crime data to identify suspects.

Another way to counter the violence is to give youth paychecks, he said. A large percentage of the approximately 5,000 youth who obtained summer jobs this year are from the Mission, he said — a step in the right direction.

It’s a way to interrupt the power of the gang induction, Suhr said, so that the kids “don’t become part of these scary numbers.”

“Everyone who is not in the [gang] life and might fall victim to it, we need to claim them first.”

Shootings in the Mission this year:

View shootings in the Mission in a larger map.

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Rigoberto Hernandez

Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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  1. Change is inevitable. I’m a native from the Mission and am also saddened by the change but have come to terms with the fact that change is inevitable. What I have a big problem with is the disrespect that many “hipsters” have for the people who have lived int he Mission for many years. Taking over our traditions like Dia de Los Muertos and making a mockery of it. I have even seen on Valencia Street a hipster version of a “banda” with two hispters following with one of those cheesy Chevy’s sombrero and another guy with his open beer container. This makes me so angry. People feel disrespected because many long time residents Latinos and Whites who have lived here for so long and worked so hard to survive are now being pushed out by young people who seem to not care and use the Mission as their play ground. I know there are families who are trying to make this area their home but a few of these young disrespectful hipsters ruin it for everyone just like these disrespectful young gang members. What we need to do is have more opportunities for our youth to feel like they still have a chance to be part of the Mission because in reality many of us know that soon we’ll also be pushed out to the Richmond or Antioch.

  2. we need gang injunction all over mission for the norteños, sureños, southeast asians and blacks (the latter ones on Sycamore/San carlos St)
    But if you show up to the meeting for the injunction you will see how many people opposes to it.
    Is not a matter of tech -high-skilled jobs, is a matter of bringing business to the mission and tolerating one another. And by the way, I am SICK of people throwing garbage and peeing on the streets. Have some manners, neighbors!

  3. Part of what I’m reading, I think, is that Nortenyos, disadvantaged by an injunction against their criminality, consider it “unfair” because other criminal gangs are not disadvantaged in the same way. (Although some others are disadvantaged by ICE.) Sorry, but most Americans are simply not going to understand such arguments. Or if they do, just laugh. Gangs are gangs, and arguing that some gangs are better than others will not succeed.

  4. Why is it that there is an injunction for nortenos, and black gangs but there is no injunction or in anything in place for surenos or MS when they are the ones that are actually killed innocent people with no gang ties at all. I read the news everyday for the past couple years and i have never seen one incident where a norteno or a black gang memeber has killed an innocent person with no gang ties. Is there a sureno saftey zone NOOOOOOOO, so who are we really afraid of some gang memebers killing other gang memebers or gang memebers that kill innocent people and get rewarded for it bull shit. Seems to me like there is a gang discrimination law suit here ahaha if there was one.

    1. (Thumbs up, like) I was born and raised in this neighborhood and totally agree. The Surenos also need a gang injunction and safety zone. An innocent bystander from Sacramento was murdered at the double dutch lounge on 16th street and still have no suspects or anyone in custody, why not? Suddenly, police are more active on 24th street area rather than the 16th? 16th street has more criminal activity! By the way, I’m not of Latino decent and have carefully observed what’s been going.

    2. This is a ridiculous argument.
      The “Norteno” area is twice the size of the “Sureno” area – they are essentially surrounded. But even arguing this point seems wrong , as both gangs are stupid idiot macho dudes (and their girlfriends that are trying to be as tough as them).
      Also, Nortenos go back generations, and are a deep part of the Mission’s history, which actually contributes to the problem, as many long time Latinos in the Mission have family members and friends that are or were Norteno members, and are reluctant to criticize at all the actions of this gang, as seen in some comments here.

      1. “actually contributes to the problem” now that is a ridiculous argument. Ive heard from a Narc that the ony reason that they mess around only with Nortenos because they are Chicanos and they are able to be put in prison or jail longer. Versus the surenos just get deported and just came back within months. The whole system is corrupted. For all you know they have surenos working as cops or knows somebody that knows somebody. Seems like a show you see on TV, but the fact is their is always going to be a loose end some where. This is reality the only way I see to fix this problem is insted of our tax dollars going to the jails and prisons , for them to actually make programs to allow people with criminal historys such as felonies or assult to be able to get a chance to get a job. Not just skills which they are able to attain but not be able to even get a interview.

  5. I’d like to see ML attend and report on the community meeting on Tuesday. And to see someone pursue some real answers from the cops about what they do and don’t know. Just after the last 24/Harrison St shooting, a local owners newslist quoted a sargent at mission station as saying the 24/Folsom shooting was a “gang from Potrero shot at by Mission kids”, and unrelated to the Harrison shooting. The cop in this article opines about maybe and could be. Ask them flat out to tell us: Is there another gang trying to come in – evidence or supposition? Is this an internal thing in the nortenos – evidence or supposition? Was the Harrison shooter actually aiming at someone(s), or just wildly firing, as the various articles imply by omission – evidence or supposition? Are these three norteno involved shootings the usual summer uptick in violence, or something more – evidence or supposition? Unfounded speculation isn’t helpful.

  6. Trying to turn it into what you want. Why dont you people be a little more respectful to the people who were here before you even heard of the place instead of talking shit about them and complaining. Those youth that you hate so much dont have the fortunate resources you people have to get high paying jobs maybe those places that were mentioned in prior comments should give those youth a chance to prove people like you wrong. That would be a good start for them to prove themselves. But i’m sure if that happened you would just complain about that too and call the people that hired them supporters of a gang also. And this comment isn’t directed at just one person but to all you so called mission residents that never even knew of this place til a coffee shop opened up

    1. Right on I completely agree, as a native Mission District resident It saddens me to see all these people move in and turn the barrio into a “new Haight St” or worse yet a new Chestnut St”. These hipsters come into the neighborhood and screw everything up, Discolandia: GONE El Tonayense: Gone. I just hope they don’t take La Palma or la Gallinita too cuz then I won’t be able to get my tortillas and carnitas.
      Shoots The Excelsior seems more latino than The Mission but SSHH.. they might take that neighborhood too.

      1. Claiming to have more stakes because you were here first is so sad: you weren’t “here” first, and even if you have been here for forty years or so…so what?

        1. Please learn your history and culture of the west. Its ingrained deeply in the fabric of many states. Just look at our names, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Rosa and on and on
          I think people want to be acknowledged and respected and not changed or erased that way we could all live together.

          1. Wow, I hope you are joking… Those names are from when European Spanish (white people) colonized the area, similar to when they colonized Mexico. The current wave of Mexican immigration to the Mission took place in 1940s-1960s. So the Mexican immigrants who came during that time “invaded” the neighborhood. If the people living in the Mission during that time complained about their neighborhood and culture being taken over by Mexicans, they would have been called racist and xenophobic. It’s incredibly hypocritical to whine and complain about “non-native” people coming into “your” neighborhood. I agree 100% we should all respect each other and live together, and we should all try to move the conversation towards that goal. Hating on yuppies, non-Latinos and hipsters is not helping, it’s alienating people who could otherwise be part of the solution.

  7. Susan it sounds like you’re trying to say that hispanic youth from the mission aren’t educated or can’t work with technology when in reality most of them are alot smarter than you put them out to be. I myself grew up in the mission unlike all you hipsters and out of towners and all of you get on my last nerve with your complaining about youth in the mission if you dont like the problems in the neighborhood that aren’t just there but everywhere you might go then go somewhere you think none of these problems exist indstead of coming into our neighborhood and

    1. TPADILLA right on! Tell these folks that just came her what’s up! I get so pissed on these people that have come from “LittleTown” USA and put their two cents in. Shut up and sit down. Why don’t you just leave and go back where ever you came from! I’m 41 years old and born at General Hospital and watches my neighborhood be invaded by you hipster cock a roaches.

    2. “…coming into our neighborhood…”

      What makes this your neighborhood? Do you own property here? If so, good for you. If not, well, I hate to break it to you, but you are not entitled to live anywhere—none of us are. We are all subject to forces of the free market. Neighborhoods are always in a state of flux, deal with it.

  8. This crap has been going on forever… Big deal you choose to live in the hood , well get used to the BS or hipsters please do us natives a favor and move to a “safer neighborhood”

    1. Seriously — that’s your answer? Young latino boys and men getting shot and no one should care, certainly not you, because its been going on forever? How about nobody gets shot and everyone gets to live safely in the Mission.

  9. Many of the shootings are concentrated on a few blocks on 24th (my block is one of them). How about putting security cameras on these corners to help catch the shooters or even prevent the shootings from happening in the first place?

  10. Gang graffiti is up too. Have you seen the old Delano’s grocery on South Van Ness? It’s a gang message board that’s turned into a complete mess. While Campos is worried most about free rides for youth on MUNI his district rots.

  11. Shootings seem clustered near the BART stations according to that map. Aren’t the two Mission BART stations known for being big drug deal hubs? Could this be part of the situation, not just territorial issues, though maybe those issues intersect at times..

    Oh, and one of those shootings on the map happened right outside my house, so this doesn’t feel like an ‘abstract’ problem to me.

  12. I love the comment about the July 10 shooting hitting the “window” of the liquor store — that liquor store is so crummy it doesn’t have windows.

  13. Would be nice if you startups would hire some Hispanic mission kids instead of just occupy the area.

    1. The startups hire people who can code and come up with innovative technology strategies. Most people, myself included, don’t have these skills. They aren’t like a restaurant or a grocery store, where you can easily train people to do jobs.

  14. I just wrote to Campos. We need more cops around to drive these gangs out and end the shoots. Gangs suck. Crush them.

    1. Just posted:

      Dear Mr. Campos,

      I live at XXXXXXX, near 24th street. Besides living here, I often frequent businesses along 24th, so I am quite concerned about the recent spate of shootings that have occurred nearby, both for my family & myself.

      I look forward to hearing the plan that you & the Mission precinct have to address & stop this dangerous violence. I’ll be sure to attend the precinct’s community meeting this Tuesday, July 31st, to hear it.

      As the CEO of my company says: “I’m sure that you, or your replacement, will find a solution to this problem.”

    1. I talked to Campos. He basically said he’s not doing anything except starting more programs for the gang members. As for more cops, he said he supports ‘Community Policing”. This is a fine position that I support but no one has ever been able to get SFPD to implement it. So we’re back to square one.
      Last night at 6:30 I saw a pack of gang kids packing guns openly on 24th right in front of Haus Cafe. I tried to flag down a cop but never found one. Phone was dead. Its getting worse. Something really bad is going to happen if we don’t get tougher with these kids. Campos isn’t going to help us.

      1. Campos is a complete stooge. People need to stop voting for corrupt scum like him if they want the neighborhood to change for the better.

  15. Can we ask for more beat cops walking around like they used to be? Maybe since there is a trend we can increase police presence during summertime? from 3pm to 10pm?

    1. Go to the community police meeting on Tuesday the 31st at 6. Mission Police Station on Valencia.

      From past experience, walking cops changes the whole dynamic on 24th. Cops driving 70 mph on our narrow streets chasing gunfire doesn’t.

      1. How about the area where the police station is? Right under there nose! Plenty of crime going on there, not just 24th street.

  16. Where’s the gang injunction on all these scrap gangs that are doing the shooting?? You drive the locals out of there neighborhood and let these scrubs run free? Bullshit!
    Dude gets jumped and shot in the head by a gang of scraps and were still worried about Norte violence? WTF?

      1. No. he’s absolutely part of the problem. Anybody who uses the terms “scraps” or “scrubs” is obviously a Norteno apologist. Both gangs suck. In fact, all gangs suck, and that goes for all those Mission youth (and not so youth) who insist on wearing all red all the time, even going so far as to dress their little babies in all red! You are condoning gang affiliation. Do not complain about one gang when you support another gang! It’s all the same.

        1. No soytim, you’re part of the problem.. obviously you have no clue of what La Mission is all about: Our Varrio, This is Aztlan.
          I wear red and so what
          You worry about the Gangs ?? Then Get out of La Mission .

          1. Coconut, huh? Worried about preserving authentic Mission culture? Let’s revive the Irish street gangs that were here around the turn of the century. Now THAT is some deep Mission history.

          2. Hey I got no problem with that, I have no problem with the Irish folks They are hard working people, not like many of these hipsters that have moved into the hood and live of their parents trust funds. Have you seen how they outbid each other when it comes to renting a flat? Just because they want to live in The Mission? Have you seen how they take out traditions like Dia De Los Muertos and Cinco De Mayo and turn it into some parade? Because I have.

          3. Where did this trust fund stereotype come from?

            Most of the people I see moving into the neighborhood come from a variety of backgrounds and work long hours in one of the few areas of the US Economy that actually produces jobs (Tech). Many of the problems arise because we don’t have enough housing to accommodate them.

          4. I live her because I can afford it. Period. And I’ve lived in the Mission for about 21 years for the same reason.

            There are a lot of people like me who live here.

            I hear you about the looky-loo, frat behavior going on with Dia De Los Muertos. That’s annoying.

    1. Really think there is some moral difference between the two? Is this your idea of the “real” Mission?
      Are you the guy that wrote a post a month ago, proposing that Norteno’s were the “real” Mission gang? I think the word indigenous was used…