Just days after The City’s top cop revived calls for nonlethal weapons for police, a man in his 20s was shot by an officer Saturday in Potrero Hill.
The man was reportedly involved in some kind of dispute at a residence before the run-in with cops. He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and is expected to survive.
The incident marked the second officer-involved shooting in less than a month. Last week, police Chief Greg Suhr asked the Police Commission to approve a pilot program to train 74 officers on how to use nonlethal weapons, such as Tasers.
Saturday’s incident unfolded when police responded to a call about a disturbance at 4:55 p.m. in the unit block of Dakota Street. When cops arrived, however, no one answered the door, police Officer Gordon Shyy said.
Ninety minutes later, police received an anonymous tip that a man who had a gun was at the same address as the disturbance. While responding to that call, the tipster informed police that the man with the gun was walking away from the residence.
Meanwhile, officers helping with an unrelated vehicle towing in Potrero Hill heard that information and realized the suspect was heading their way.
Those officers positioned themselves so that his path would cross theirs, Shyy said. But when he saw the cops, the suspect ran and the officers chased him.
When the suspect reached the 800 block of Missouri Street, less than three blocks away, he turned toward the officers and they noticed that he was holding a gun, Shyy said. One officer fired multiple shots at the suspect.
Shyy said the man was hit “more than once,” but would not confirm where the man was struck.
Little information was released about the suspect or the initial disturbance police responded to.
Though the suspect is expected to survive, the shooting happened amid a revived debate about arming San Francisco cops with less-than-lethal weapons. Last month, Pralith Pralourng, 32, was shot and killed by an officer after reportedly attacking a co-worker with a box cutter at a chocolate factory on The Embarcadero.
Last week, Suhr asked the Police Commission for permission to pursue nonlethal weapons options. Though commissioners did not make a definitive decision, they did decide to research all such devices and return with a report in 90 days.
“I’m sorry we didn’t have a different alternative, but we did not,” Suhr said about Pralourng’s death at the meeting. “I want to do something about the next person, because I don’t want there to be a next person.”