sfpd_squad.jpgA restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District is closed for business today after one of its employees was shot in the head after leaving work early this morning in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity.

The shooting was reported around 12:30 a.m. at 19th Street near San Carlos Street.

The 22-year-old victim, whose name is not yet being released, 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 victim 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.

The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with injuries that are considered life-threatening.

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.

Investigators believe the victim may have been mistaken for a gang member, which he is not. The Police Department’s gang task force is investigating the shooting.

Esler said the victim 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.

The victim, 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.

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.

Want more news, sent to your inbox every day? Then how about subscribing to our email newsletter? Here’s why we think you should. Come on, give it a try.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!