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San Francisco Chinatown shooting: Karaoke DJ recalls late-night chaos that left 1 injured

Police officers and paramedics gather around the shooting victim in Chinatown on Saturday. | Courtesy John Tam

Right after 10 p.m. Saturday, nightclub goers in San Francisco’s Chinatown were shocked to see the sudden gathering of law enforcement at the intersection of Grant Avenue and Jackson Street.

“I was busy singing a song,” karaoke DJ John Tam told The Standard. “And then I saw a bunch of cop cars.”

Tam, who was at the popular bar Red’s Place for his friend’s birthday, went outside to see what was going on. On a narrow Chinatown sidewalk, he saw a tall Asian man lying on the ground as paramedics went to work cutting off his pants. He had been shot in the leg.

“He looked fine, though,” Tam recalled. Meanwhile, officers put up police tape, going into the bar to ask if had any information about what happened.

Tam took a dozen photos at the scene. Some show a half-naked man lying on the sidewalk next to the bar’s parklet, his shirt wide open as first responders rendered aid. A fire truck can be seen parked on the street.

A man was shot and being treated by paramedics in Chinatown on Saturday. | Courtesy John Tam

The San Francisco Police Department confirmed that the victim was a 33-year-old Asian man from Daly City who was found suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The department’s daily crime summaries gave a slightly differnet age (35). He was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

No arrest has yet been made. The police report lists the suspect’s identity as unknown.

It’s unclear what happened between the shooter and the victim. SFPD Deputy Chief Raj Vaswani posted on Twitter saying that the shooting had been preceded by an argument. Tam also said that, as there are ATMs close by, the shooting may have been an attempted robbery.

Jerry Chan, the owner of Red’s Place, said he was not there Saturday night but was made aware of the incident. He said the bar’s operations were not affected. 
Chinese language media also reported that police officers were patrolling and investigating in the Grant Avenue area on Sunday morning.

Han Li can be reached at