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UPDATE: Homeless man with knife shot by police in the Mission dies

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Crews investigate the scene after an officer involved shooting on Shotwell Street near 19th Street in San Francisco, Calif. Thursday, April 7, 2016. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A homeless man who was shot by two officers after he was reportedly seen waving a knife in the Mission district Thursday morning has died, authorities confirmed.

The man died around 1 p.m. after undergoing surgery at San Francisco General Hospital, health spokesman Brent Andrew said.

The shooting occurred just after 10 a.m. in the 400 block of Shotwell Street, about a block from South Van Ness Avenue, Police Chief Greg Suhr told reporters at the scene.

Suhr told reporters at the scene that officers first received a call about the man from a member of The City’s Homeless Outreach Team, who reported a man was waving a kitchen knife that had a 10- to 12-inch blade. The man had apparently lived on the block where the incident happened for the past couple months.

“This is all very, very, very preliminary,” Suhr said.

The man was reportedly “challenging” the officers, according to the police computer automated dispatch system. The officers first fired bean-bag rounds at the suspect, but shot him after he challenged them with the knife, Suhr said.

“It’s no less tragic event to event,” he said. “We have been working very, very hard to contend with folks with edged weapons.”

Gary Siegel, owner of nearby San Francisco Auto Repair Center, said he heard up to nine shots fired and saw a “body on the street” with a red shirt on.

Siegel added that he’s seen numerous people living in tents in the area where the incident occurred.

“It’s dirty, messy and smelly. Sometimes they fight,” Siegel said.

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Reyna Maldonado, a neighbor who lives near a homeless encampment on Shotwell Street and 18th, signs the tent of Luis Gongora, who was shot and killed by San Francisco Police Department officers on April 7 (Joe Fitzgerald Rodriquez/S.F. Examiner)


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  • Mark Lewis

    I’m concerned that the street name Shotwell is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • Scoop Brady

    Lets not give the officers tazers because the politicos on the sidelines don’t like them. Smart, real smart.

  • Mark Lewis

    The area around the shooting is a tent city, with all kinds of addicts and mentally ill people milling around. SF lets this problem fester, and we can expect to see more of these incidents.

  • john doe

    Harrison St has a huge tent city. He probably came from that tent city nearby. The city moved them off Division St without support or accountability and city pd is not trained or certified to deal with mentally ill–and many homeless are mentally ill and off their meds or self medicating on others. No tasers yet? Oh well. Shooting #4 now? –Why not shoot a knife waving mentally ill man with a dart like the Rangers shoot bears. Seriously. The last 4 may be alive today.

  • john doe

    Last I hears tasers don’t kill people. The city has 4 officer involved shootings so far and 3 were deaths. This recent one of another homeless guy does not mean if he survives that others won’t be shot and killed for challenging police with the only tools at their disposal. Having tasers and body cameras are very smart

  • john doe

    shotwell goes thru 2 gang territories. Prostitutes and Johns in their cars frequent the area. The homless resource center on Shotwell (Mission Neighborhood Resource Ctr) is closed on Sundays and does not provide bed space. Its been closed on Sundays for years because the city can get away with it–no one complains? Homeless in crisis on Sunday in the Mission can call the hot team and get a ride somewhere else but be patient with the layers of buracracy.

  • Because extermination IS the mission.

  • Ralph Smith

    If these S.F. cops are not good enough to disarm an individual, then they shouldn’t be policemen. This is an unnecessary killing of a human being.

  • Sundown

    Tasers occasionally kill, I think that was originally one of the arguments against them – that they would be used in a case where less-lethal force could be used and end up killing someone. But after these shootings tasers would seem to have been a good option to have.

  • Sundown

    No cops “disarm” anyone, that’s only in the movies. Although I can see a good argument for backing off and not escalating a situation unnecessarily quickly. But once a situation develops, deadly force (which includes knives) is met with deadly force by all police depts.

  • BFlatlander

    LOL… Hows YOUR mental illness, you paranoid victim?

  • You think it’s a coincidence that most state and federal mental facilities were closed in the last 40 years? Think it’s just happenstance that during that time, police shootings go through the roof, and 3 strike sentences are implemented, and long term sentences are handed out and now it’s so bad out there you can be arrested for feeding a homeless person in certain cities? People are shoehorned into prison even if they should be in a mental facility first. It’s a one sized fits all meat grinder, and the final phase of this operation is coming into focus with private, for profit prisons.

  • BFlatlander

    Blah blah blah, you deluded waste of skin.

  • Is that what you say to people who are informed and well read? I’d put my education and success against most. But very well, clearly you are threatened by knowledge.

  • BFlatlander

    And you are a delusional paranoiac. No one would ever take you seriously based on the hysterical namby pamby pearl clutching nature of your “posts”.