Updated at 2:15 p.m.

A 21-year-old pizzeria worker is recuperating from a gunshot wound after he was involved in an altercation with another man, a friend of the victim, who wished to remain anonymous, told Mission Local.

The victim had a single bullet removed this morning and is in recovery, according to the witness, as he and a few other friends gathered Thursday morning at the site of the incident after visiting the hospital.

It began after the suspect approached a group of friends who were drinking inside a friend’s SUV on Julian Avenue close to 14th Street shortly after 12 a.m. Thursday, a friend said.

“He looked like he was running away from something. He was power-walking,” the friend said.

The victim’s friend, who was with the victim at the time, said that the suspect then approached the group and started heckling them.

“He asked us if we were banging,” he said. “We said no, we weren’t. We were just celebrating the Fourth of July.”

As the suspect walked away, he started “flashing gang signs.”

Fed up with the provocations, the victim, who had been drinking throughout the day, got out of the car and threw a bottle at the suspect, a friend said. The victim then ran up to the suspect and confronted him.

“His machismo got into him and he went over there,” he said. “He told him, ‘You want to get one on one?’”

The suspect responded by shooting the victim “point blank” once in the abdomen, he said.

The suspect then ran southbound on Julian Avenue. As the suspect reached the end of the block, he handed over the gun to suspects in a passing white car before taking off on foot, he said.

Friends of the victim said they are hopeful that a surveillance camera from a nearby residential substance abuse treatment center captured the incident.

“Like I told police, everything you need is in that camera,” he said, pointing to it.

The incident is being investigated by the gang task force, police said.

The victim, who is from Mexico’s Yucatan state, lives in the Mission and works at a pizzeria in the city, he said.

“He is just a normal guy,” he said. “He goes from work to home — maybe he drinks once or twice a week.”

The group of friends had gone out to a barbecue earlier that day. They went to a bar, then to a friend’s house nearby.

After the friend’s parents arrived home, the group decided to drink inside the SUV so they could continue talking without bothering the family, he said.

“We went to get a case of beer before everyone headed home,” he said. “It’s a holiday.”

The suspect, described by police as a man between the ages of 20 and 25, was last seen wearing a white shirt and khaki pants.

No arrests have been made, said police.

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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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