Camilo Senchyna-Beltran, 26, took a break from a busy life as an EMT when he went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday Saturday night at Bruno’s on Mission Street. By Sunday morning, he was dead.
Friends said he was in front of Bruno’s at 2 a.m. when a friend and an unidentified suspect got into an argument. Senchyna-Beltran stepped in to stop the fight. The suspect turned on him and fired one shot into his chest. He was pronounced dead at Francisco General Hospital, according to police and friends.
The suspect fled and police have not released a description.
“That was a random act — no one knew the person,” said Angela Tharp, a friend. “He didn’t get into problems, he had a lot to lose.”
Senchyna-Beltran, who was just a week shy of his 27th birthday, was an EMT in the South Bay who was on his way to becoming a paramedic, a progress he documented on Instagram.
An only child, who was raised by his mother on Hampshire Street in the Mission, he was following his mother’s footsteps who worked for more than 30 years as a health worker, most recently at San Francisco General Hospital.
Senchyna-Beltran’s co-workers at Falck medical company remembered him as a positive person who was always working.
“He was great to work with, we had some great conversation,” said Leslie Chans. “Of course everyone complained about their job but he never once took it for granted, he never complained and was respectful and kind to patients.”
Senchyna-Beltran’s mother’s family is from the Ukraine and Ireland, while his father is from El Salvador. Before his murder, he lived with his mother and grandmother in Bernal Heights.
His Instagram account paints a portrait of a man who was a sneakerhead, a big fan of the 49ers, Giants and IPA-style beers. He also occasionally posted photos of his progress to becoming a paramedic in San Francisco.
“One more small step toward the ultimate goal,” he wrote after posting a photo showing that he passed the California Physical Ability Test from the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee. “But patience is a virtue,” the message continued.
“I felt like I was similar to him. I kind looked up to him a little, ‘if he can do it I can do it,” said his co-worker Donovan Dowdell.
Several dozens of his friends gathered for a vigil at the corner of 20th and Mission streets on Tuesday night to remember him. They are expecting to gather there again on Saturday to celebrate what would have been his 27th birthday.