A San Francisco shop owner has died after being brutally attacked by a robber who beat him into a coma.

Yowhannes “John” Tewelde, 60, passed away around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, his family announced.

The robbery occurred on Thursday when the robber entered Tewelde’s store, Richmond Market in a northern San Francisco neighborhood, around 9:30 p.m. The thief reportedly stole water first, then returned ten minutes later to steal two beers.

The suspect confronted Tewelde, who was holding a baseball bat, according to police. The suspect pushed Tewelde to the ground, causing him to hit his head. The thief then beat Tewelde with his own baseball bat.

Tewelde went to the hospital with a brain injury and underwent two surgeries, but he never regained consciousness.

The thief fled the scene and is still at large.

A San Francisco Police Department spokesperson said that after the attack, “the suspect then threw the bat at another victim and fled the scene in an unknown sedan. The second victim was not injured during this incident.”

Tewelde’s daughter, Meron Tewelde, said her dad was “just trying to do the right thing.”

“I was at home. I get a call from my mom. My dad is in the hospital. I didn’t think it was this severe. Here we are,” she said.

The Tewelde family has gotten support from their neighbors in the Richmond District neighborhood. Two neighbors have started a fundraiser

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 for the family that has raised more than $48,000 as of Wednesday morning.

“Thursday night I witnessed our beloved store clerk, Yohannes Tewolde—John, suffer from a brutal attack,” wrote one of the fundraiser organizers.

“It was a horrible scene and has left me sad and distraught. As many of you know, he is a loving father, husband and owner of a sweet ‘store’ cat Nancy. He worked 7 days a week and always shared his warm smile with customers,” the fundraiser organizer said.

Overall, crime in San Francisco is slightly down this year, but certain types of violent crime are up.

Robberies are up 16%, murders are up 12%, and car thefts are up 11%, according to police data.

Violent crime has been up since 2019 in the northern San Francisco neighborhood where the Tewolde family’s shop is located.

In the past year in Outer Richmond, there have been at least 71 violent crimes compared with 64 violent crimes during that same period ending in August 2019, police data shows.

In the Bay Area, the overlap is significant between homelessness, drug use, and crime. In the city’s once bustling downtown, all three issues, particularly open-air drug use, have caused businesses to flee.

About 38,000 people are homeless in the Bay Area on a given night, up 35% since 2019.

The drug crisis is still raging in the city, although overdose deaths have dropped from their all-time high in 2020 during the thick of the pandemic.

In 2022, San Francisco saw 620 fatal drug overdoses, down from 640 overdose deaths in 2021. In 2020, overdose deaths spiked to 725. In July alone, 71 people died of a fentanyl overdose, putting the city on track for a record number of fentanyl overdoses.

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