Police inside McDonald's after a person attempted to rob the counter at gunpoint. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

Police arrested an armed man after he allegedly tried to rob the McDonald’s at 24th and Mission streets Tuesday afternoon. At least four San Francisco Police squad cars arrived at the northeast plaza around 2:30 p.m. Several witnesses reported seeing police enter the BART station with guns drawn.

The incident began around 2:21 p.m. when a man allegedly walked into the McDonald’s on 24th and Mission, pulled out a gun and demanded money from the clerk. One witness, who identified himself as Luis, said he was eating at a table near the counter and saw a man with a gun hop over the counter and yell loudly. 

Luis said the man yelled some more before leaving through the employee entrance to the kitchen with a disappointed look on his face. 

“He had the gun out at the counter when he was arguing [with the staff], I saw him putting it back in as he walked out,” Luis said. 

Police said the man attempted to open the cash register “with negative results.” 

Another witness was right in the path of the gunman. Alejandra Londoño works as a babysitter and was at the McDonald’s with her employer’s family. She said someone started yelling, but she had her back to the counter and couldn’t see the commotion. A McDonald’s patron next to her made a gun gesture with his hand and tried to warn her of the armed man. She turned around to see the suspect.

She saw him move past her with a gun in his hand as he exited towards Mission Street.

“He walked down the aisle trying to hide the gun, and I couldn’t even talk,” Londoño said. 

She thanked one of the officers who took her report, saying they responded very quickly to the call. 

John Ruiz was eating with Londoño when he saw the suspect walk out of the employee entrance to the kitchen, head past his booth and go to the exit. Everyone pointed at the gunman — who apparently did not realize the police were already en route. 

Ruiz lives in the neighborhood, and he said robberies are unfortunately common this time of the year.

“It’s not as bad as it used to be,”  Ruiz said. “We’re just happy no one got hurt. “

Witnesses say that the armed man tried to escape through the BART station but saw officers arrive and draw out their guns. Officers apprehended the suspect inside the station, and then walked the detained man out of the subway and placed him in a police SUV.

The spectacle grabbed the attention of many on 24th Street and Mission plaza, who crowded around the police officers and their vehicles as they detained the suspect. One older man kept asking a police officer incoherent questions and was later taken into custody by two other officers who told him he’d be held in the drunk tank for several hours. His friends, however, laughed it off.

Police are still investigating the robbery and closed off the McDonald’s as they spoke to witnesses. A manager at the restaurant said they would be closed for the rest of the day. 

Police asked Mission Local and others to leave the restaurant, saying it was an active crime scene. 

“The suspect was taken into custody and the firearm was seized,” wrote SFPD spokesman Officer Joseph Tomlinson. “There were no injuries during this incident.” 

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  1. Police are pigs and they lie. The McDonalds employees were endangering us all by calling them and should be ashamed of themselves. They should’ve given the corporation’s money to the man and left us in peace. He certainly needed the money more than the large multinational corporation they work for. I hope Chesa Boudin declines to press charges.

    1. Wow, not surprised that some folks have this attitude,but a bit alarming to actually see it written out.

      1. How is this different than the other police stories we’ve seen? Officers chased a man into the BART station with their guns out – a certain % of the time the guy goes quietly and the rest of the time they shoot him for fighting back. If you don’t like that, then don’t call them. It’s hypocritical, and honestly stupid, to be ok with calling them when it goes ok and angry when they shoot.

        I think you should just give the guy the money and not call them. Otherwise we’ll have more police shootings. If you disagree, keep calling but don’t be surprised by the outcome.

    2. Money isn’t everything, and the man did not have to terrorize people if he needed money, I mean this is San Francisco and many people are struggling out here, but robbing a McDonalds, for the sake of God, what did he need the money for if he was so desperate, do you know how many services are out here to help people with food, clothing and groceries, there is hope for this man if he was in that kind of a need. I have struggled for years living in the city and I worked hard just to get by and feed my kids, I never had to rob and steal from others, I don’t need the latest iPhone or Louis Vuitton handbag to prove anything, and I have never needed drugs or alcohol, whenever I feel defeated in life.
      My point is he did not have to do all that, and why are the Police pigs in your view? I remember my ex boyfriend saying this all the time when he resided over in Concord, CA where he stayed with his mother, who wasn’t very bright either. “I hate the Police, I hate the white man….” is what he typically says and he was joining the nonprofits claiming to be ‘against violence”, who also claimed to stand for “peace” and “respect”. Guess what….never did he himself stand for any of these, I was a victim of the violence he caused in my life, and did the White man tell him to hit me, was he even the crash dummy for the white man, no he clearly made the choice to be violent, he clearly justified the violence that he caused me in my life, if the police wasn’t called the night he attacked me I think my fate would have been worse. Someone who clearly hates the cops are violent people who probably and most likely hurt others. If you think that robbing, stealing and casing violence in the community are okay, then clearly something is wrong with you, Not all cops are bad, and if you have others causing problems and hurting innocent people, then best believe we need laws, we need a criminal court system to hold people that do these things held accountable for their actions.

  2. I’ll try this again since my last comment has being ignored by ML.

    Merry Christmas to you too, Joe. And yes, your bias against SFPD is quite evident. Coincidentally, yet another sensationalized headline on another skewed article.

    1. It’s remarkable for someone with the callsign “Call it as I see it” to miss what’s going on here.

      Merry Xmas,