A suspected Sureño gang member with a history of arrests spanning the Bay Area is being sought by San Francisco police in connection with a drive-by mass shooting in the Mission that injured nine people over the weekend.
Javier Campos, 22, is a person of interest in the mass shooting that occurred at around 9 p.m. Friday near the corner of 24th Street and Treat Avenue, according to an internal police bulletin reviewed by The Standard. Campos is linked to a silver Mercedes that was captured on surveillance video speeding away from the shooting after a suspect opened fire from inside the vehicle, police said in the bulletin.
The shooting happened amid a block party in an area historically controlled by the Norteños, longtime rivals of the Sureño gang Campos is allegedly involved with. The clothing store Dying Breed was hosting the Friday night party in celebration of the anniversary of its opening.
Campos has an outstanding homicide warrant in Oakland, according to the police bulletin. Oakland Police did not respond to a request for comment.
“This kind of violence on our streets is unacceptable,” San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said Monday. “People should feel safe to go out in San Francisco without fear of being victims of gun violence.”
Investigators believe that this incident was targeted and said there was no known threat to the public.
Campos has a number of criminal cases out of three other Bay Area counties in addition to the outstanding warrant in Oakland’s Alameda County.
Campos has two open cases out of San Mateo County: One for allegedly smuggling drugs into jail with the help of his girlfriend in January 2021 and the other for possession of a ghost gun that police accused him of using to pistol whip a woman in Daly City in 2020, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
He was set for trial for both cases on May 5, but did not show up to court and now has a bench warrant for his arrest.
The Contra Costa County district attorney is currently reviewing two of Campos' cases out of Richmond: A 2019 resisting arrest case and a 2021 case involving criminal threats, concealing a weapon and exhibiting a weapon in the presence of an officer, the DA's spokesperson said.
He was convicted of carjacking and robbery in 2018 in Contra Costa County, according to Wagstaffe.
Campos was also charged in San Francisco for robbery in 2022, but the case was discharged by the District Attorney’s Office, court documents showed.
Turf in the Mission District has been divided between north and south by a number of gangs in recent years. Court documents indicate that the Sureño and MS-13 gangs operate along the Mission Street corridor from 16th to 20th streets, while Norteños control territory along the 24th Street corridor.
These rivalries have reportedly been responsible for many homicides in the area, according to law enforcement. Police have gone after the groups in a handful of cases using a law created to target organized crime known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. A number of federal RICO cases in recent years have taken down members of both the Sureño and Norteño gangs.
“One of the rules common to both Sureno and Norteno gangs is that members of each side must attack members of the other side,” said a 2020 federal indictment against 10 suspected Sureño members involving several alleged murders. “The more brazen the attack, the greater the respect that is given to the attacker by fellow gang members.”
As a result, according to that indictment, many innocent bystanders are injured or killed for being in the wrong place, being mistaken for rival gang members or wearing the wrong clothing.