Off-duty San Francisco cop escapes hail of bullets 

An off-duty San Francisco plainclothes police officer was shot at while driving home from work in the Bayview early Wednesday, according to police.

The mysterious attack occurred at Bayshore Boulevard and Silver Avenue around 12:30 a.m., when the veteran plainclothes officer was driving home from Bayview Station, his assigned district. The cop was not followed after leaving work, police said.

The motive for the shooting remains under investigation, but police say the gunman was not targeting the officer because he is a cop. They say the officer was not driving a police vehicle and was fired upon from a far distance.

The officer said that while he was driving he noticed someone in his peripheral vision running at his car, according to San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr. The officer said he heard a gunshot and thought a round hit the trunk of his car, Suhr said.

The cop drove another block and called 911, police said. Then he heard another gunshot and saw a car behind him. The gunman had apparently hopped into a Cadillac and continued shooting at the cop’s vehicle, police Officer Albie Esparza said.

The gunman, described only as a black man, fled in the Cadillac and has not been found, Esparza said.

The cop drove side streets back to Bayview Station.

It wasn’t the first time a plainclothes law enforcement official was the victim of a violent crime in the Bayview. Last year, shotgun-toting crooks tried to rob a woman as she was unloading her car. They did not realize she was an armed agent with the Internal Revenue Service who had just returned home from work.

The 36-year-old agent opened fire on the three suspects, striking two of them. All three were arrested. The shotgun, fully loaded, was later found in a suspect’s car, police said.

The officer in Wednesday’s shooting has been on the force roughly five years, police said.

While police officers are threatened by criminals “from time to time,” they are not often targeted while off-duty, Suhr said. The chief, previously captain of the Bayview Station, said he had not heard of an incident like Wednesday’s during his tenure in the district.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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