Residents and passersby from the area near 16th and Hoff streets have reported at least two fights and one drive-by shooting at the memorial site of 26-year-old Hector Salvador, who was shot and killed early Sunday morning. No one was injured by the shooting Tuesday night, though 16 people were detained at the scene and two arrested for being drunk in public.
A police spokesperson said that officers detained everyone at the scene when they arrived and questioned them about the shooting, but none were cooperative. Two were arrested for public intoxication and spent the night in a drunk tank. Officers found handgun shells at the scene, but have no suspects for the shooting.
The flowers, bottles, baseball caps, and photos set up in tribute to Salvador were gone by Wednesday morning, replaced early this morning by bouquets of flowers and a dozen candles left after a prayer service by family and friends.
Scuffles broke out both on Sunday and Tuesday nights, said one resident. On Tuesday night, the resident said she heard yelling that “sounded as if someone was being beaten,” and shortly thereafter she heard several shots fired.
Two women leaving a yoga class Tuesday night reported witnessing the drive-by shooting at the memorial site at about 10:15 p.m. Cathy Miller and her sister, local jazz singer Lavay Smith, were leaving the Yoga to the People studio near 16th and Capp streets when they said they heard a string of gunshots coming from a car driving down 16th Street.
“My sister and I had just finished class and we were standing at the corner of of 16th and Mission getting ready to cross over Mission when we heard ‘Bam bam bam bam,'” said Miller. She described seeing a “small, black car” pull out of Hoff Street and turn right on 16th Street “spraying bullets” at the area where the altar had been erected for Salvador. “There were multiple gunshots and it was so loud and close — it was the worst I have ever witnessed in the Mission.”
“I don’t know if they were aiming at people or just firing to disrespect the memorial, it seemed like a huge retaliation,” said Smith. “Everybody hit the ground because it was so much fire power.”
Miller and Smith, along with multiple other people who were at the intersection, scrambled to take cover immediately. “I huddled behind a parked car’s tires along with two other men and my sister hid behind a newspaper stand,” said Miller. “It was so scary — I’m so glad we didn’t get hit.”
Miller said she did not see if there were any congregants at the memorial site, but that the bullets were clearly aimed at the area. As the women fell to the ground, Miller said they were unable to see the shooter but witnessed the car turning right on Mission Street and speeding off southbound.