A Danzante performs a prayer and participates in dance while cleansing attendees with sage during the Mission Peace Collaborative at 24th Street Bart Plaza in San Francisco, Calif. on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. The peace rally was held in light of two recent shootings in the Mission District. Photo: Chris Cuadrado

An arrest has been made after the mass shooting rattled the Mission District, leaving nine people injured. The alleged suspect, Javier Campos, was arrested in Watsonville, Santa Cruz and taken into custody in San Francisco where he will face criminal charges for the June 9 incident that has left the community on edge.

According to Santiago Lerma, the Legislative Aide to District 9’s Supervisor, 8 of the 9 victims have been released from the hospital.

“I thought I just got hit by a firework, you know?,” said one of the victims, who El Tecolote is identifying as Tom, who was shot in the leg twice. “And then I got hit again and I realized that it was serious.”

Ozzy, a representative for Mission Skateboards and Dying Breed, recounts moments after the shooting of people running towards Balmy Alley. “We circled back around … it was bad and people were not moving or hiding, it was a lot,” Ozzy said.

Bystanders rushed to aid the victims, applying first aid to the wounds. “I’m really grateful that the situation was what it was for me because … with the help of the community, I was able to secure more of a chance of being in the situation [that] I am now,” Tom said. 

Ayiana Escobar, singer-songwriter, sings “Vivir Mi Vida” during the Mission Peace Collaborative at the 24th Street Bart Plaza in San Francisco, Calif. on June 20, 2023. Photo: Chris Cuadrado

Tom was taken to the hospital and discharged the following day. He expressed gratitude for the people who were there to help save his life. “They could have ran and got out of the situation, which might have been a smarter thing to do, but there were people there who just didn’t give [it] a second thought …  some of the most courageous and brave [acts I’ve seen] … it’s just a blessing for sure.” 

The Mission District is now striving to heal collectively by organizing community circles and peace rallies, which were led by organizations such as Calle 24. Lucia Ippolito, an organizer of the healing circles, performed art therapy exercises in collaboration with community members, featuring mental health facilitators, chiropractors and somatic healers during the circles.

“Once it was revealed that the shooter … was caught, I think there was a sense of relief. However, it doesn’t mean that there’s not still violence we need to worry about,” Ippolito said. 

The community circles and rallies have provided a safe space for residents of the Mission District to heal and discuss how gun violence impacts the neighborhood.

“I think our community leaders and organizers could organize more healing circles, more public discussions, and bring people together more so that our community can unify together against violence and hatred,” she said.