In a far swifter turn-around than in a previous case, the San Francisco Police Department has released the names of the officers involved in a fatal Mission District shooting of a man who apparently admitted before his death that he was hoping to be killed by police.
32-year-old Matthew Hoffman was shot and killed by SFPD officers on Sunday, January 4 after Hoffman allegedly brandished an airsoft gun while standing in a restricted area of the parking lot of SFPD's Mission Station.
It was subsequently discovered that Hoffman had left a suicide note addressed to the officers on his phone that read, in part, "You did nothing wrong. You ended the life of a man who was too much of a coward to do it himself. I provoked you. I threatened your life as well as the lives of those around me. You were completely within your legal rights to do what you did."
At a town hall meeting on Tuesday to discuss the shooting, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr said that it appeared Hoffman had been planning his own death for some time, and had texted a Connecticut police officer last February asking "What would happen if a person would point a fake gun at a cop from 6 feet away? What if the person told the cop he was going to shoot the cop after a count of three," the Ex reports.
Hoffman had "reportedly just moved to San Francisco and broke up with his girlfriend," according to the Ex.
"I shouldn’t be here. Please, take solace in knowing that the situation was out of your control. You had no other choice," Hoffman wrote to the two police officers who shot him, who were identified on Friday evening by SFPD as Sergeant Michael Serujo and Sergeant Nicolas Pena.
According to the Chronicle, Serujo has been with the force for 28 years. Pena has been with SFPD for 6½ years. They fired five shots each at Hoffman, striking him three times in total.
The investigation into Hoffman’s death is still ongoing, with separate inquiries by SFPD's homicide unit and internal affairs division, the district attorney’s office, and the Office of Citizen Complaints.
Pena and Serujo were placed on paid leave following the shooting, as is protocol in officer-involved fatalities.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.