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.”