Laura McCambridge and a friend were standing outside their North Beach hostel just after 2 a.m. on Saturday, chatting with several police officers. McCambridge had noticed that the cops were armed, and she told them that police do not carry guns in her native London.
“Then they kind of said, ‘Oh sorry, guys, there’s something going on,’” McCambridge recalled.
Suddenly, a man rushed past, carrying something black. Several officers chased him, and McCambridge said she heard an officer’s gun go off as the suspect put his hands in the air.
“It was pretty scary,” she said.
The shooting, which left two bystanders wounded, was a frightening welcome to The City for the English tourists, who were staying at the Green Tortoise Hostel on a bustling block of Broadway lined with bars and strip clubs.
According to police, the bystanders were struck by at least one officer’s bullet as police chased a suspect down the crowded sidewalk.
The man and woman were both struck in the leg, police said. They were treated at San Francisco General Hospital and released Saturday.
The suspect, Jesus Paredes Rodriguez, 20, of San Pablo, was jailed on assault and weapons charges.
Police say officers were patrolling the neighborhood when they spotted Rodriguez engaged in an apparent drug deal near Broadway and Kearny Street. The officers said he matched the description of a wanted suspect.
Rodriguez fled when officers approached him, and police said he pulled a loaded automatic pistol and pointed it at one of them. That officer fired at Rodriguez and missed, hitting the bystanders. Rodriguez dropped his gun, and police arrested him.
In an official statement, police characterized the shooting as reasonable.
“While it is still unclear why the suspect was armed,” the statement said, “the presence of such a weapon, and his willingness to point it at uniformed police officers, made him a significant threat to the public as well as the officers.”
McCambridge, 23, said that when the shot went off, her friend pushed her into a stairwell to get her out of the way.
“It was kind of weird for an English person to see that,” she said. “We’re not used to stuff like that.”
The shooting is under investigation by the homicide detail, internal affairs, the district attorney and the Office of Citizen Complaints.
Police will hold a community meeting to discuss the shooting at 6:30 tonight, at Jean Parker Elementary School, 840 Broadway.
Officer-involved shootings in 2011
- July 16: Kenneth Harding Jr., 19, is shot to death in the Bayview after he allegedly draws a gun while evading arrest for skipping a Muni fare. Police later say Harding accidentally shot himself.
- June 29: Police wound Roselyndo Nagayo Sicat, a 38-year-old parolee wanted on vandalism charges, during an early morning shootout in the Western Addition.
- June 7: SFPD officers shoot and kill 25-year-old Joshua Smith, a suspected bank robber, as he allegedly tries to run them down with a stolen car near Buena Vista Park.
- Jan. 4: Officers shoot and wound Randal Dunklin, a man with a history of mental illness, as he sits in a wheelchair in the South of Market area. Police say he slashed an officer with a knife.
Source: Examiner reports