A gun-toting parolee was wounded after a wild shootout with cops near Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory on Wednesday morning that ended with the injured suspect crashing his getaway car.
The suspect, described as a 38-year-old Asian man, suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting at Ellis and Gough streets just before 8 a.m., police spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield said. No cops were injured.
Police were in the neighborhood hunting the suspect on a $75,000 warrant. Police Chief Greg Suhr said the suspect was wanted for allegedly firing an assault rifle in the area earlier in the week.
Police found two weapons — including an AK-47 — in the suspect’s older model, gray Honda Accord. The Accord smashed into a parked car during a desperate getaway attempt on Gough Street near Sacred Heart. The major traffic artery was shut down for the investigation, which was expected to last several hours, Dangerfield said.
Two plainclothes cops in an unmarked patrol car spotted the suspect as he was pulling out of a garage in a building at Ellis and Gough streets, Suhr said.
When the officers identified themselves to the suspect, Suhr said, he reached into his waistband, pulled out a handgun and fired at least one shot at the cops. The officers returned fire and the suspect was struck multiple times, police said. The suspect then crashed his car trying to flee.
“If my officers are fired upon, they’re going to shoot back,” Suhr said.
Suhr said the shooting was justified despite the fact it happened on a major traffic artery during commute hours.
The incident is under investigation by the department's Internal Affairs and Homicide divisions, the District Attorney's Office and the Office of Citizen Complaints, police said.
The suspect was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, police said.
Stunned neighbors heard two shots then a rapid succession of five to 10 shots. Peter Gorman, who lives on Ellis near Gough, said he heard the shootout from his apartment. He later went outside with his dog to see what had happened and found the street filled with cops.
A resident living in an apartment complex on Eddy Street said he also heard the shots. He said he opened his blinds and saw all the police activity.
“We hear a fair amount of shots in this neighborhood,” the resident said.
Hearing the shots during daylight hours was “shocking,” he said.
A woman answering the phone at Sacred Heart said the school was not affected and that she didn’t believe any students were involved.
Bay City News contributed to this report.