Gunfight erupts at 21st and Mission – Mission Local

At just after 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon, a volley of gunshots rang out on 21st Street between Mission and Capp. 

Many witnesses employed on the block heard three shots in quick succession. While the initial shots could be mistaken for fireworks, a few moments later, two Mission Local reporters personally observed a trio of two men and a woman hurry into a white compact car, with one of the men firing a handgun east on 21st St. toward Capp St. as the car drove off.

The car drove away, and turned left onto Mission St. 

Police happened to be near the scene, and quickly swarmed the site and cordoned off the corridor of 21st between Mission and Capp. A sergeant on scene said it did not appear that anyone in the immediate vicinity was struck by the gunfire.

Two witnesses, including a man named Abraham parked near the Bethany Center for Senior Housing, said they saw a man in a black ski mask, dressed in a security guard-like outfit with a patch on his shoulder, shooting a handgun several times toward Mission before leaving the scene.

Abraham said he saw the man in black running toward Capp on foot. Another witness named Jose said he saw a man in security garb hop into a grey or white Toyota or Honda Civic and drive toward South Van Ness.

Jesus Pena, who didn’t see the shooting but was standing nearby on Mission Street and heard the shots, said he watched a white car and a gray car with “very young people” drive away. Pena believed both cars drove and turned left onto Mission Street.

A stray bullet casing in front of 3189 21st St. rests at the feet of a policeman. Photo by Annika Hom, July 2, 2021.

Mission Local reporters personally observed the other apparent parties in the gunfight. A trio of people quickly decamped in a pair of cars. The female driver screamed “get in the car.” A man hopped into the back seat. While the door was still open, he raised what appeared to be a black pistol and fired once toward Capp. They drove off toward Mission Street.

The two cars headed off, with the passengers shouting to one another. One passenger, not the apparent shooter, was a young, heavyset Latino man with close-cropped hair and a lantern jaw.

A call to the San Francisco Police Department’s official on-call public information officer elicited the following narrative from spokesman Officer Robert Rueca:

At approximately 5 p.m. officers responded to 21st St. and Capp regarding shots fired. Officers arrived on scene and located spent shell casings. No report of any victims or damage.

At least one bullet casing was found just in front of 3189 21st St. Staff at Bethany Center Senior Housing is checking to see if the shooting was captured on their security cameras. Other security cameras are prominently placed in the area, and point toward where today’s scene unfolded.

This is a developing story and will be updated as possible.

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Eleni is our reporting intern focused on policing in San Francisco. She first came to the city over eight years ago, and the Mission has become her home. Follow her on Twitter @miss_elenius. More by Eleni Balakrishnan


Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused… More by Annika Hom


Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. “Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior… More by Joe Eskenazi