Reports of a possibly armed man outside the Hibernia Bank building at Jones and McAllister Streets led police to shut down Market Street at 7th as well as surrounding blocks just after 2 p.m. Wednesday. While clearly hoping not to have another officer-involved shooting take place as hundreds of passersby watched, police engaged in hours of de-escalation as the man apparently refused surrender, leading to major Muni disruptions and traffic snarls in the vicinity and bringing out dozens of police officers and a SWAT team tank to deal with the lone, African American suspect who allegedly refused to drop a weapon he revealed to bike patrol officers.
The standoff ultimately ended near 6 p.m. with the man being taken into custody, and officers saying they had recovered a weapon. The man was taken away on a stretcher with undisclosed injuries, likely caused by non-lethal beanbag rounds.
Via the Chronicle, Interim Police Chief Toney Chaplin said that the lengthy standoff was necessary in order to reach a peaceful resolution. "Time allows people to calm down, think about what they’re doing and maybe have second thoughts about making themselves a target for the Police Department,” Chaplin said. “Time is our friend. The longer we delay these situations, the better they end.”
48 Hills, which ran with the headline "SFPD manages not to kill armed suspect," reports via Chaplin that the man had been wearing a jacket and told approaching officers that he had a gun, and showed it to them in his pocket. He allegedly said he'd recently been released from county jail in Reno and he'd rather die than go to prison.
What follows are updates that occurred as the standoff unfolded, including video posted by bystanders, some of whom believed they were about to see a man get shot.
Possible Armed Suspect Contained in the Area. Negotiation in Progress. Please Stay Away From This Area. #SFPD— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) July 6, 2016
As of 3 p.m., officers with guns drawn were instructing people to stay away from the areaAccording to Examiner photo editor Jessica Christian who was on the scene, "All buses on Market completely stopped both direction for multiple blocks [with] Drivers out on the street."
Reports of possibly armed man shuts down market and jones in SF pic.twitter.com/MkFpQj1NZ9— Jenna Lyons (@JennaJourno) July 6, 2016
Van pulls up to block pedestrians view of large tank, rifles during standoff at Market/Jones pic.twitter.com/lRKfNyM54t— Jessica Christian (@jachristian) July 6, 2016
With the memory of past fatal SFPD shootings, we can imagine officers taking their time to resolve this. We reached out to the SFPD directly, however they were unable to provide us with additional details at this time. We'll update with more information as it comes in.
Video, from what appears to be early on in the standoff near 2:15 p.m., was posted to Instagram showing the shirtless suspect exchanging shouts with armed SFPD officers — their guns drawn and pointed at him
Update: While it was still unclear as to whether or not the man is armed, video being post to Twitter and Instagram shows bystanders cursing and yelling at police. The below videos contain NSFW language.
Crowd continues to ask why there's a tank/swat presence at Jones/Market as SFPD communicates with alleged man w/ gun pic.twitter.com/iuFrfeIUxv— Jessica Christian (@jachristian) July 6, 2016
Update 5:00 p.m.: Fox 2 reports that SFPD Officer Grace Gatpandan explained to gathered media that "Officers will stay on the scene as long as possible to take this person into custody."
According to SFPD, negotiators are still talking to the man. No shots were reported fired.
Update 5:30 p.m.: According to witnesses on the scene and Fox 2, officers have fired bean-bag rounds at the man as the standoff continues.
Update 7:00 p.m.: Police have taken the man into custody, and claim to have recovered a weapon in the process.
Suspect in custody and is being treated by medical personnel. Suspect's gun was recovered. #SFPD— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) July 7, 2016
Update 8 p.m.: Mayor Ed Lee issued the following statement following the end to today's standoff:
I want to thank the officers of the San Francisco Police Department for the peaceful resolution to the standoff this afternoon with an armed man.
Using de-escalation tactics, patience and restraint, San Francisco police officers put the sanctity of life at the center of this confrontation and resolved the situation safely.
I want to praise Acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin for his leadership during the tense negotiations with this armed man. In direct communication with me all afternoon, he continually showed the judgement and prudence that resulted in a non-violent outcome.
The handling of the situation today is a reflection of the emphasis that we put on de-escalation training in recent months. We are making critical investments to rebuild trust with our communities and are changing how our police officers handle conflicts on our City streets.
This post has been updated throughout.