Police officials report that Sunday evening, San Francisco armed force shot and caused the death of a man who had trespassed in the restricted parking lot of the Mission Station. The officers started fire after the man would not leave the perimeter and when he seemed to draw a firearm. Later on, the chief of police noted that the man carried what appears to be an airsoft pellet.
The shooting happened outside the station at 630 Valencia St. in the afternoon, after which an officer reported shots fired and a person down, and then requested an ambulance.
The officers asked the suspect to leave the restricted area and got in their patrol car. Seeing as the man didn’t leave, they got out and approached him, asking him again to go away. The individual supposedly pulled what looked like a firearm, said San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr. In response to the threat, two sergeants fired their guns, and the suspect was hit three times. The ambulance transported him to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died later.
The unidentified man had apparently approached officers earlier that Sunday on 16th Street and asked about the kind of weapons they carried, the ammunition they used and if they’d ever shot any suspects. The officers found it very curious at the time, declared chief Greg Suhr.
Officer Albie Esparza told the NBC affiliate that they still don’t know his motive or why he approached the officers in the first place. The officers explained that the man was acting very unpredictable and unnatural.
The officers involved in the incident were not hurt and have received 10 days of administrative leave during the investigation. On Sunday night, Valencia Street, between 17th and 19th streets, was shut down, stirring curiosity from passers-by and residents alike. Joann Kuhl, a resident who lives a few blocks away, confessed that her biggest fear was that the shooting might add fuel to the fire of a really bad relationship between the police and the community.
Greg Suhr said that he is aware of the precarious safety of police officers nationwide, especially in the aftermath of police-involved deaths in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City in the near past. Thus he has confirmed that the suspect in this incident, specifically confronted officers and there is no doubt about the fairness of the officers’ response. “We are as aware of [the safety concern] as anybody. But we have a job to do, so we’re going to do it.”
Image Source: San Francisco Public Press