Police still don’t know why a Richmond district man attacked his family, but the department’s chief defended the actions of officers who shot and killed the man after he reportedly stabbed family members Monday morning.
During a calm community meeting Tuesday night, police Chief Greg Suhr told neighborhood residents the officers did all they could — including using a nonlethal weapon on the man — before firing at him with a gun.
Suhr said although the bean bag rifle did not work on Peter Woo, 44, who was allegedly charging at officers with two knives in hand, a stun gun also would not have worked.
“In my opinion, with the rapid events of the suspect, it was not a situation where a Taser would’ve been any better than a bean bag,” Suhr said.
Officers shot and killed Woo around 7:18 a.m. Monday inside the home he shared with his parents. Woo reportedly suffers from a mental illness, but it’s unknown if he was taking any medications, according to Suhr.
When officers arrived at the home in the 600 block of Funston Avenue, they found Dennis Woo, 78, outside bleeding profusely from his hand, Suhr said. Dennis Woo told officers his son was inside the house and had attacked the family with knives.
After speaking with the father, officers requested the nonlethal bean bag weapon before entering the home, according to Suhr.
Upon entering the home, Suhr said the officers found Nina Woo, 73, in a hallway with multiple stab wounds. As officers approached, a younger woman, Wanda Woo, darted from room to room. It was then that Peter Woo appeared, according to Suhr.
The man charged the officers holding two knives above his head, one with a 7-inch blade and the other with a 5-inch blade, Suhr said. Officers fired the bean bag, but it did nothing to stop Peter Woo, according to Suhr. One officer fired two shots at the man, Suhr said.
Peter, Nina and Dennis Woo all were taken to San Francisco General Hospital. The son and mother were pronounced dead there, and the father was treated and released. Wanda Woo, the couple’s daughter, was not injured.
Police commissioners called the incident a tragedy for the neighborhood and The City.
“It’s very upsetting to have a son commit this kind of crime on his mother,” said Commissioner Angela Chan.