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SF police search for downtown gunman

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POSTED February 17, 2014 6:31 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Police said Monday they hope video from nearby surveillance cameras will help in their search for a gunman who shot another man outside a crowded mall in downtown San Francisco.

The suspect is believed to be a man in his late teens to early 20s who fled the chaotic scene on foot Sunday night outside the Westfield San Francisco Centre on the popular and well-traveled Market Street, police said.

A 19-year-old man who was shot stumbled down to the nearby Powell Street transit station, where he collapsed, prompting a temporary evacuation and closure of the station, police said.

He was rushed into surgery at a local hospital and is expected to survive from multiple gunshot wounds, San Francisco police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy said Monday. The victim’s name has not been released.

Police believe the victim was targeted, Capt. Raj Vaswani told reporters Sunday.

Witnesses near the shooting said it was scary.

“It was just a real quick, ‘Bang, Bang,’ “ said Becky Parks of San Francisco. “Everyone kind of scattered.”

A worker at a Jamba Juice store inside the mall said he saw people running and screaming in the food court area on the mall’s lower level.

“Everybody just started running,” said Aldo Gomez, 19, of San Francisco. “My boss told me to get back inside.”

Police hope that surveillance video from surrounding businesses can help them catch the suspect, Shyy said.

The chaos came a day after Michael Mendez, a 55-year-old transient, was struck and killed by an outbound Muni train at the Powell St. station. His death prompted a four-hour closure of the station, causing delays for mass-transit riders heading to downtown for the annual Chinese New Year parade.

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