Suicide draws crowd at Powell and Market 

A man wearing only a pair of turquoise boxers jumped to his death from a ledge above Forever 21 on Powell Street on Tuesday.

The man attracted a crowd near the busy Powell Street cable car turnaround before jumping, according to witnesses. He apparently crawled out a window from what police are describing as a loft apartment above the store.

Witnesses reported seeing the man start to jump twice and then stop himself at the last second, before he finally made the jump.

Police spokeswoman Lt. Lyn Tomioka said a dispatcher started receiving calls about the man around 3:10 p.m. Police arrived and stopped pedestrian traffic in the area by 3:15 p.m., and a hostage negotiator arrived at 3:18 p.m., she said.

The negotiator tried to reach the man, but he had locked the door from the inside.

The man jumped at 3:25 p.m., she said. Less than 30 seconds later, paramedics determined he had no vital signs and pronounced him dead.

Because of its location, the ordeal was witnessed by a large crowd that documented it extensively on Twitter.

San Francisco resident Terence Prasad said he walked by the scene before the man jumped and heard some people shouting at the man, “don’t jump!”

But others, he said, were shouting “Jump!”

“It was kinda messed up,” he said. “But at least he’s in a better place now.”

kworth@sfexaminer.com

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