Security guard arrested in 24-year-old's slaying during Walgreens theft in SF

A private security guard was arrested on suspicion of murder for fatally shooting someone at a Walgreens store in San Francisco during a shoplifting incident, police said.

The guard, Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, 33, was being held at San Francisco County Jail in the slaying of Banko Brown, 24, of San Francisco at the store at 4th and Market streets at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

"We do believe that a theft did occur during this incident," said Officer Robert Rueca, a San Francisco police spokesman.

Shoppers are in shock.

"To shoot somebody, thievery or not, that seems like a pretty high penalty," said Tizoc Arenas after emerging from the store Friday.

Police would not say what led up to the shooting.

"We do know that the security guard that we arrested was involved in an altercation during this incident," Rueca said.

A woman who says she was with Brown at the time said, "As soon as we were walking out, we hear boom-boom."  She said Brown dropped to the floor. 

The woman, who did not want her name used, spoke before she learned Brown had died.

She said security guards shouldn't be armed with guns.

"They should have something different, like, you feel me, the mace, the mace balls, something else, rubber bullets," she said.

Although she said she didn't know what led up to the shooting, she acknowledged that people steal.

"They're gonna come in these stores. They're gonna come and steal. We're less fortunate than a lot more people. So they're gonna do what they do to make their money," she said.

Supervisor Ahsha Safai, who has been working to crack down on organized retail theft, said, "The loss of life, that family, the impact on that family, my heart goes out to them."

Safai said theft has in part led to the closure of at least five Walgreens stores in the city.

"What can we do better as a city? How can we go forward to ensure that yes, thefts not happening, that crime's not happening - but that it doesn't end in murder?" he asked.

In a statement, Walgreens said, "We are thinking of the victim and their family during this difficult time. The safety of our patients, customers and team members is our top priority, and violence of any kind will not be tolerated in our stores. We take this matter seriously and are cooperating with local authorities."

Many police agencies bar their officers from chasing after or using deadly force in property crimes unless directly threatened. Similarly, loss prevention officers and security are often told to observe and report and not to engage. 

The guard's security company declined to comment Friday.

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the victim's correct name.