Safeway security guard shot trying to stop alleged shoplifter

A change in security at the Safeway in San Francisco's outer Mission is expected soon after a security guard was shot and wounded over the weekend.

The guard was shot Saturday about 6 p.m. while he was trying to stop a shoplifter. The suspect was arrested. 

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai, who represents the neighborhood, said he's working to crack down on rampant theft and violence at the store.

He said residents can expect to see off-duty law enforcement there soon.

On Wednesday evening, shortly after a KTVU crew arrived at this Safeway, a customer who declined to give her name, pointed out a man who stole detergent and other items from the supermarket.

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She said it's a common occurrence.

"They bring their own bags like this and just fill up their bags with their groceries," she said. 

In July of last year, a woman suffered life-threatening injuries when a shoplifter knocked her to the ground at the same store.  

DeOndre Walker, another security guard at the store, told KTVU said he doesn't feel safe. Walker said he welcomes help from law enforcement. He said he cannot even carry pepper spray. 

"When you come to work, you want to know that you're safe," Walker said. "You're worried about if you come outside, is somebody's going to hurt you,  shoot you, stab you or anything like that."

Safai held a virtual community meeting to address safety concerns. He said Safeway has been asking for help with security.

Safai said he is working with Safeway, the police and sheriff's departments to have off-duty law enforcement provide security.  

He said this is already being done at some businesses such as the Ross store in the Potrero neighborhood      

"Safeway there is like the unofficial town hall in the Excelsior, in that part of town.  Everyone goes to that Safeway," Safai said.

He added he hopes to have off-duty law enforcement at that store in a week or two to deal aggressively with brazen retail theft and violence.

"We need to have a strong response in the city. We have to support our businesses. We have to support our frontline workers and in the worst situations, this is what happens," said Safai.  

"If there is someone standing there who looks like they have some authority, I think things will change around here for all the residents in the neighborhood," said one customer who declined to give her name. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU