Officer, Suspect Shot in Castro

  • by Seth Hemmelgarn
  • Wednesday November 1, 2017
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A San Francisco police officer and a suspect were hospitalized with gunshot wounds early Wednesday, November 1, after they exchanged fire in the Castro district just after midnight.

The incident started at about 12:03 a.m. when a citizen flagged down police, who were on foot patrol for Halloween night, to report "a suspicious vehicle in the area of 18th and Diamond streets," police spokesman Sergeant Michael Andraychak said in a statement.

"Officers approached the vehicle to investigate further," and the suspect and at least one of the officers exchanged gunfire, said Andraychak.

One person in the area said he heard at least 10 gunshots.

The officer and the suspect each suffered a gunshot wound and were taken to a hospital. Andraychak said that as of 5 a.m., they were reported to be undergoing surgery, but he didn't have other details on their conditions. Another police summary of the incident listed the officer's condition as "life threatening." Neither the officer nor the suspect's names were immediately released, but Andraychak said the officer was a 41- year-old male who's been with the department for nine years and was assigned to the Crime Scene Investigation Unit.

The police department's Homicide Unit and Internal Affairs Division, the district attorney's office, and the Department of Police Accountability are all investigating the incident, according to Andraychak, who added that a town hall meeting on the incident would be held within 10 days.

Market Street to 19th Street and Castro Street to Eureka Street remained shut down Wednesday morning and officers would remain in the area during the investigation, he said.

Gay District 8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy told the Bay Area Reporter that he's concerned about the officer who was shot.

"I hope he's OK and my thoughts and prayers are with the officer," he said.

Just after the shooting started, a man was carjacked at gunpoint nearby, police said.

At about 12:10 a.m., three suspects flagged a 54-year-old man for a ride, Officer Robert Rueca, a police spokesman, said in a summary. When the victim gave them a ride, one of the suspects brandished a gun, ordered the victim out of the vehicle, and drove away. The vehicle was recovered several blocks away in the first block of Oakwood Street. It was unoccupied, said Rueca.

The victim in that incident wasn't injured.

The suspects were described as an Asian male between the ages of 20 and 30, an Asian female, and a black female. No further details about them were available.

Police didn't say Wednesday morning whether the two incidents were related.

The Castro had been the site of a Halloween celebration attended by thousands of people every year, but the city shut down the party in 2007 after several violent incidents, including at least one shooting.

It's not clear how many people were in the neighborhood at the time of this week's shooting.

Longtime gay activist Cleve Jones, who lives in the neighborhood, posted several updates on the shooting to his Facebook page early Wednesday morning.

One woman commented, "I'm sheltering in place, have been all night. Brings back BAD Halloween memories of years gone by. Not the first Halloween in the Castro with a body count."

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call their tip line at (415) 575-4444.