Scroll to the bottom of this post for updates.
Reports are coming in that SFPD officers shot a knife-wielding homeless man in the Mission earlier this morning. According to ABC 7, the shooting occurred at 19th and Shotwell Streets, and NBC Bay Area is reporting that the shooting victim was armed with a knife and refused police commands to drop the weapon.
18th and Shotwell right now. pic.twitter.com/P5FpgaBMo1— Capp Street Crap (@cappstreetcrap) April 7, 2016
Varying reports have come in as to what led up to the shooting, and at least one self-described witness claims on Nextdoor that police may have shot the man while he was on the ground.
While the details are all still unconfirmed, if the knife aspect proves true the case will no doubt call to mind the officer-involved shooting death of Mario Woods in December. Police will be holding a press conference shortly, and we'll update this post accordingly.
Media staging area for #SFPD officer involved shooting will be at 19th and Shotwell.— Ofc. Grace Gatpandan (@OfficerGrace) April 7, 2016
Update: According to SFPD Chief Greg Suhr, the man is in "very critical condition."
Meanwhile, one witness claims that the man was sitting with his head between his knees when police opened fire.
That was the first eyewitness saw of the knife; @SFPD had not said "drop the weapon." Man was sitting, head between knees.— Jenna Lane (@jennalane) April 7, 2016
Update 2: According to Chief Suhr, at around 9:57 a.m. this morning "the Department of Public Health's HOT Team, Homeless Outreach Team, called in a report that there was a suspect on Shotwell Street ... waving a large kitchen knife."
Video: #Sfpd chief talks about shooting @kron4newsPosted by KRON 4 Dan Kerman on Thursday, April 7, 2016
Update 3: According to police, the man had been living in a Shotwell Street homeless encampment for several months. Police say they used non-lethal bean bag rounds on him before opening fire.
Update 4: Mission Local interviewed a witness, John Visor, who says that the victim never waved a knife at the police and that instead the blade was tucked into his waistband during the entire encounter.
“I lost my best friend," said Visor, who is apparently a resident in the nearby homeless camp. "People shouldn’t be dying like this. I want him to get his rights, he wasn’t hurting nobody, all he did for a living was pick up trash and bottles.”
Update 5: The shooting victim reportedly died at SF General at 1:00 p.m. today.
Subject of #SFPD OIS died at approximately 1 p.m. today, per SFGH. Brought in shortly after 11 a.m. with GSW. ID Pending.— Alex Emslie (@SFNewsReporter) April 7, 2016
Update 6: Mayor Ed Lee has issued a statement on this morning's shooting. “We are all striving to make sure officer involved shootings are rare and only occur as a last resort," writes the mayor. "And, while we don’t know all the facts of this morning’s officer involved shooting, we do know that Homeless Outreach workers providing services to homeless people in the area called the police for help after encountering a person armed with a knife. There are now two investigations underway by the Police Department and the District Attorney, and today, I am asking the Office of Citizen Complaints to launch their own independent investigation."
According to Mission Local, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr stated that the victim charged at the officers before they opened fire. This statement has been contradicted by witnesses throughout the day, two of which told reporters this afternoon that the Latino victim did not charge officers and that he spoke no English.
As to the victim's knife, in the below videos one witness and neighbor tells reporters that "he used it for his safety when goes out pick up cans and bottles," later adding that "the knife was up on his hip the whole time — yeah he didn't have no knife in his hand when the officers was around him."
A reporter with ABC 7 asks, "You saying it was cold blooded murder?" To which the witness replies, "Yeah."