San Francisco

Mission Street Safeway gunman pleads guilty to firearms charges

A man pleaded guilty today to firearms charges stemming from a July 2022 incident where he terrorized Safeway patrons and passers-by with a gun.

Julian Cisneros, 29, who has a lengthy track record of serious violence, appeared in San Francisco federal courthouse this morning before U.S. District Judge James Donato. He remains in custody ahead of sentencing.

On July 16, 2022 911 callers reported a man brandishing a gun at traffic and at people at the Safeway store at Mission and 30th streets. SFPD detained the defendant after a foot chase during which he carried the firearm in his right hand.

A loaded Glock pistol equipped with an extended magazine was recovered. The weapon had been stolen from an off-duty federal police officer.

Witnesses told police that Cisneros “put them in fear for their lives” – including a car driver who thought he was going to be shot and a woman who said she saw Cisneros point his weapon directly at a person’s head.

Witnesses further reported the defendant’s claim that he was a gang member.

Security camera footage presented to the court also recorded Cisneros brandishing the weapon earlier in the evening while walking up and down the street outside of a Mission District bar.

Prosecutors had previously told the court about the defendant’s lengthy rap sheet which includes “convictions for threats with intent to terrorize, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, four counts of inflicting corporeal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, and assault by means of force.”

In particular, they pointed out that in 2018 Cisneros’ girlfriend reported that, over a three week period, he beat her multiple times, tied her up with zip ties and took photographs of her in the fetal position pointing a loaded AR-15 automatic rifle at her head, used pliers to pinch her fingers and toes, and gagger her until she passed out.

She also described, prosecutors say, that Cisneros had previously stabbed her in the collar bone.

Cisneros was on post release community supervision at the time of the latest firearms offense.

Cisneros will be sentenced on October 16. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000.

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