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The Mission District restaurant worker shot in the head in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity has died.
The 22-year-old victim, whom the Examiner names as Gaspar Puch-tzek, had just gotten off of work at the nearby Hog and Rocks restaurant where he worked as a cook, according to David Esler, one of the restaurant’s owners.
The Puch-tzek and two other acquaintances were standing outside the restaurant and having a cigarette when two suspects approached, and one shot the victim in the head, according to Esler.
Mission Local reports that SFPD Captain Greg Corrales says that the suspects, believed to be members of the Norteño gang, approached the men and using a derogatory word for the Sureño gang, asked Puch-tzek his gang affiliation. When the victim said he wasn’t the member of any gang, he was shot, Corrales said.
Puch-tzek, a father of two, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he later died.
The suspects, described as Hispanic men between 25 and 30 years old who were wearing dark clothing and hoodies, have not been found. They were last seen running west on 19th Street away from San Carlos Street, police said.
Esler said Puch-tzek worked two jobs, often leaving the restaurant late at night to start work at a nearby bakery at 4 a.m.
He said the restaurant’s staff is distraught about the shooting.
Puch-tzek, who had worked there for about six months, was “really a well-liked kid,” he said. “The kitchen staff is a tight-knit group, it’s just really unfortunate.”
Because of the shooting, the decision was made to not open the restaurant for business today, according to Esler, who said regular business will resume there on Wednesday.
According to Mission Local, though Puch-tzek was not a gang member, “there is a heightened possibility of retaliation because it was directed against Sureños and occurred in their territory.”
Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.