Police fatally shot a hairnet-wearing TCHO chocolate factory worker Wednesday morning in the Financial District after the suspect allegedly lunged at an officer with a box cutter.
The 30-year-old man slashed a colleague who had been cleaning machinery at the Pier 17 factory about 10:15 a.m., police Chief Greg Suhr said. The co-worker, who told police the attack was unprovoked, blocked the blade with his arms and was cut “pretty bad,” Suhr said, but his injuries were not life-threatening.
After the slashing, the victim reportedly chased after the suspect southbound on The Embarcadero, leaving behind a trail of blood.
Police responded, but the suspect refused to stop and drop the box cutter, Suhr said.
The pursuit ended at Washington and Davis streets, where the suspect allegedly lunged at a female cop with the blade in hand. The cop shot him twice in the chest, Suhr said.
For safety reasons, Suhr said, the suspect was handcuffed after being shot. But when cops realized the extent of his injuries, they unshackled him and administered CPR.
The suspect underwent surgery at San Francisco General Hospital, where he later died.
The police officer, who has not been identified, was placed on administrative leave per standard protocol following an officer-involved shooting, Suhr said. She had been “relatively close” to the suspect when he lunged at her, Suhr said, adding that preliminary reports indicate the shooting was justified.
Others had a different take. Initial reports on Occupy San Francisco’s Twitter feed alleged the man was shot while in handcuffs. The report was derived from at least two men who claimed to have witnessed the incident. They told The San Francisco Examiner that cops put a bag on the suspect’s head after shooting him. However, that bag was presumably the man’s hairnet.
Suhr called the purported witnesses’ reports erroneous.
Still, they shouted at cops, calling them Nazi pigs.
“You don’t shoot a man unless he has a gun or other weapon,” said Anthony Kramer, 22, of Kansas, who said he heard two gunshots but did not actually see the shooting.
Police cordoned off the chocolate factory as they investigated the incident, and tourists hoping for tours were being turned away.
TCHO declined to comment.