Chevron at Van Ness/Pine completely taped off for officer involved shooting. Witnesses say 4 to 5 shoots. More soon. pic.twitter.com/CbwziLxq2S— Kale Williams (@sfkale) March 18, 2015
The San Francisco Medical Examiner's office has identified the woman shot to death by police officers after a wild Pine Street chase as 24-year-old SF resident Alice Brown, a spokesperson said Wednesday morning.
According to San Francisco Police Department Deputy Chief Hector Sainez, who echoed the words written in a statement sent by SFPD Tuesday night, plainclothes officers were dispatched to the Chevron station at Van Ness Avenue and Pine Street at 7:07 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a possibly stolen vehicle.
When they arrived at the gas station, they spotted the vehicle in question, a blue four-door Jetta. According to the SFPD statement, they approached the vehicle and identified themselves to Brown, who drove the car straight toward the officers.
According to SFPD, in an effort to flee, Brown then struck a building, turned onto Pine Street, then flipped around and started driving the wrong way (east) on the one-way street.
Brown then drove onto a sidewalk, SFPD says, and toward the officers, hitting another building and several parked cars as she did so. She then got back on Pine, again headed in the wrong direction, hitting more cars and forcing a motorcyclist to dump his bike to avoid being hit.
Witnesses saying 3 shots, then a pause, then 3 more shots. Victim said to be female. Pine completely shut down west of Van Ness.— Kale Williams (@sfkale) March 18, 2015
As she hit the sidewalk toward the officers again, the cops fired "at least two shots" at Brown's vehicle, though some say they heard more, as you can see from the tweet above. She was pronounced dead at the scene, after her car came to rest about 50 feet west of Van Ness.
Remarkably, no one besides Brown was injured in the melee. According to Sainez, the officers fired at the woman because she was endangering the lives of nearby pedestrians and that the officers were “fearing for their safety."
"Being this close to Van Ness, obviously the vehicle already made it on the sidewalk, and off the sidewalk several times, drove at them, they felt that they needed to use the force that they did," Sainez told KTVU.
A recording of SFPD dispatch during the incident paints a vivid picture of the incident. You can listen to it here:
A witness who spoke with the Chron said that Brown “looked very frantic... She was frazzled, probably because she was trapped.”
Brown's family has been notified, Acting Medical Examiner Administrator Christopher Wirowek said this morning, "and the case is under investigation with the cause and manner of death pending."
As is typically the case, the shooting will also be investigated by the San Francisco Police Department homicide detail and internal affairs division. The San Francisco District Attorney's office and the Office of Citizen Complaints will also investigate Brown's death.
Update: An SFist reader has contacted us asserting that through mutual friends, they have conformed that this is the Facebook profile for Alice Brown.
The most recent public update was posted this profile last September, and the comments following it suggest that a friend of this Alice Brown, at least, feared that she was in trouble.