Over one year ago, a 26-year-old Stockton man assured his mother he was safe on the streets of San Francisco as he went to retrieve his cousin from a bar, she says.
Just two hours later, around 2:25 a.m., John Sanyaolu was shot and killed.
This was Oct. 4, 2016, a date Sanyalou’s family knows all too well. As they urged any witnesses Wednesday to come forward and help them find who took a loved one from them, they served as a reminder of the grief a family continues to feel after news of crime comes and goes.
“A year has passed and it still feels like it was just yesterday,” says Sanyaolu’s sister, Whitney Omitade. “It hurts knowing that John will never get to fully experience his life.”
Sanyalou was just days shy of turning 27 years old when San Francisco police responded to Sixth and Bryant streets, outside the Endup, and found him suffering from multiple gunshot wounds that stemmed from a verbal altercation. Two relatives, men ages 28 and 26, were also shot but made it out of the hospital with their lives.
In June 2016, just months earlier, a 19-year-old died in a shooting at the Endup.
Despite interviewing numerous witnesses, police don’t have a set description of the suspect. They do have video surveillance of the area — precisely which area is undisclosed — but not of the shooting itself.
Police know there are still several witnesses out there left to interview and hope this reminder of Sanyaolu’s death will result in some of them coming forward.
“[His] mother has never been the same,” says Sanyaolu’s aunt, Bunmi Odubela. “He can’t just be forgotten like that.”
Family members who spoke up mentioned his unforgettable smile, his kind, gentle manner and ability to comfort his loved ones.
“He was really my confidant,” his mother Funmi Oyewole says. “He was my best friend.”
The San Francisco Police Department can be reached at its anonymous tip line is (415) 575-4444 or by texting “SFPD” to TIP411.