San Francisco Records Largest Mass Shooting in Almost 30 Years

At least nine people were harmed during an episode of gun violence in SF’s Mission District neighborhood Friday night — becoming the city’s largest mass shooting since 1993.

On July 1, 1993, fifteen people were subjected to gun violence at 101 California Street in San Francisco when 55-year-old Gian Luigi Ferri opened fire across the building’s 34th floor that housed offices belonging to the Pettit & Martin law firm. The failed businessman, who was a client of the firm in 1981, left a trail of empty shells, some from a pair of handguns and others from a semi-automatic weapon. Ferri later made his way down several different floors, continuing his fatal attack… before committing suicide.

Ferri — a man who once won a million-dollar judgment, only to then file for bankruptcy years later, per the New York Times — murdered eight people and left another six injured. 

According to NYT, the San Francisco County coroner declared the eight names of those murdered by Ferri were “Deborah Fogel, a secretary for the law firm Davis Wright & Tremaine; Donald Michael Merrill, 48, of Oakland, whose employment and reason for being in the building were unclear; and four employees of Pettit & Martin, John C. Scully, 28, an associate lawyer in the firm; a law partner, Allen J. Berk, 52; a summer legal assistant, David Sutcliffe, 30, of San Francisco, and a secretary, Shirley Mooser, 64.”

Ferri’s fatal rampage, which was credited to elevating security protocols in SF’s downtown sector (i.e. security stations were subsequently installed in business lobbies around the Financial District), eventually lead to the demise of the Pettit & Martin law firm. Up until the 2021 mass shooting that occurred at Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) rail yard in San Jose, the massacre at 101 California Street remained the Bay Area’s deadliest mass shooting on record; the San Jose shooting at 101 West Younger Avenue, which shared the same street number as the 1993 mass shooting, claimed ten lives.

In San Francisco, the 101 California Street shooting still remains the municipality’s largest mass shooting — an episode of gun violence that leaves at least four people dead or injured, not counting the active shooter — to date. 

But on Friday night, June 9th, gunfire erupted at 24th Street and Treat Avenue in SF’s Mission District, leaving at least nine people injured; the episode of gun violence is now the largest mass shooting San Francisco has seen since the one at 101 California Street.

As we reported earlier: Details about the shooting remain vague. At the time of publishing, it was unclear how many people were injured or killed, or how many active shooters were involved. But we did know a goddamn self-driving car operated by Cruise was filmed sitting inactive, partially obstructing emergency crews from accessing the scene.

SFPD confirmed on social media Sunday morning that there are “9 shooting victims” and that all are expected to survive their injuries. The mass shooting also seems intentional; it was not the result of a sudden altercation or verbal argument, for example.

“At this time, the incident appears to be targeted and isolated,” the department continued. “There is no known threat to the public at this time.”

The San Francisco Chronicle released the age and sex of eight of those injured early Sunday morning; the ages of the victims range from 19 to 35 years old; SFPD Deputy Chief Raj Vaswani said that the victims included one woman — the youngest harmed — and seven men; the age and sex of the ninth victim remains unknown.

Police public information officer Eve Laokwansathitaya spoke at a late-night news conference and is on record saying the shooting occurred during a street party. Laokwansathitaya noted that no arrests had been made and that she can not remark whether or not there was more than one shooter; she was not able to share whether the shooting occurred from a vehicle.

The impromptu conference was backdropped by yellow crime scene tape as on-site investigators searched the scene; a large tent was set up outside the Dying Breed clothing store, which had the block party last night at the time of the shooting; it’s unclear if the mass shooting involved any attendees of that event.

Being the zenith of hyperlocal news reporting in San Francisco, Mission Local was quick to report from the scene of the mass shooting, which helped shed light on how quickly the episode of gunfire transpired.

“Everybody was chilling listening to music and you just hear some little bottle rockets, some little firecrackers or something,” said one attendee at the Dying Breed party, who declined to provide their name to the media outlet. “And then all of a sudden you see people just start running.”

They added that the crowd scattered and that they saw multiple people on the ground, who appeared to have been shot. The attendee also said others were “shot in the leg” and “limping around.”

As of publishing, a search for the suspect (or suspects) remains ongoing; no arrests have yet been made in relation to the mass shooting. 

Feature image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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