Barry White Arraignment: Prosecutors Give Chilling Details in Gift Shop Double Murder
Barry White, the man accused of brutally killing two store clerks and critically injuring the owner of a jewelry store in SOMA Friday, appeared in court yesterday afternoon where the district attorney recounted the "chilling" murder scene inside the store.
SFPD Barry White
White, 23, of Antioch, stood calmly -- hands and legs shackled -- as prosecutor Scot Clark described the brutal scene investigators saw in video footage taken from inside the store and a nearby taqueria.
White allegedly walked into Victoga Inc., a jewelry store at 888 Brannan St., and argued with the store's owner over the price of an item he had previously purchased -- White wanted his discount, which came out to less than $300.
During the argument, the store clerk was nice enough to give White some coins to pay for parking, Clark said. When White returned, he sat inside the store and waited 20 minutes until other customers left.
He then went behind the counter and allegedly shot the owner three times, point-blank. He also shot another employee later identified as Lina Lim, 51, who then retreated to a back room.
Another employee, 35-year-old Khin Min, was standing by the front door; she had the chance to run away, but ran toward the suspect instead.
Clark said White is seen in the video pointing the gun at her. The defendant then dropped the gun, pulled out a folding knife and allegedly slit her throat from "ear-to-ear."
"We see her actually dying in the video very graphically," District Attorney George Gascon said at a press conference. "It's extremely calculating the way he proceeded throughout the entire process."
White returned to the other two victims and allegedly attacked them with his knife, Clark said. He then picked up the .38-caliber revolver and reloaded it. Responding officers saw a blood-covered White exiting the store, who then went into a nearby taqueria, where he shot at San Francisco police officers officers six times. He surrendered after shooting all six rounds, Clark said. None of the officers were injured.
Police searched his car and found an AK-47 assault riffle and an extended magazine.
"It could have been worse," said SFPD spokesman Albie Esparza.
The 50-year-old store owner sustained multiple gunshot and knife wounds, but is expected to survive, Gascon said. Lim, a Daly City resident, died at the scene. She suffered from a gunshot wound and an "especially brutal" knife wound to her neck, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The family of Min, who also died at the scene, appeared in court yesterday; Tum Oo, 48, who found out about his sister's death from the news, said the family did not know White.
"It's never happened in this gift center, we never had that kind of store," he said, his voice cracking. "I don't understand why this bastard has a gun and knives. What's happening?"
Min had worked in the store since emigrating from Burma in 2000. The store owner had a friendly relationship with the family, he said.
"He doesn't treat her as employee -- he treats her as his little sister."
As for White, police do not believe a robbery was the motive for the shooting. He is facing 16 felony counts, including two counts of murder, seven counts of attempted murder, six counts of assault on a police officer with a gun, and one count of possession of an assault rifle. He is being held in custody without bail.
White is due back in court on July 24.