A man carrying two guns climbed a building site near a Mission hospital Wednesday afternoon and opened fire, as construction workers and bystanders ran for cover.
Details are still preliminary in the case, where the suspect was shot to death by officers who arrived at the scene.
“We have no idea why he did what he did,” Chief Greg Suhr said. “He opened fire as the officers arrived at the scene.”
The shooter, who was wearing white overalls, used a stolen shotgun to fire from atop an elevator around 4:15 p.m., aiming his weapon at St. Luke’s Hospital and lowering it toward responding officers outside the construction site at the intersection of San Jose and 27th streets, Suhr said.
Except for the shooter, described as an unidentified man in his late 20s, no injuries were reported. Suhr said the hospital itself, which is adjacent to the construction site, was not struck by gunfire.
“It’s very fortunate that nobody here was injured,” Suhr said.
Earlier in the day, the suspect allegedly robbed a Big 5 Sporting Goods store in San Bruno with a handgun. He is believed to have stolen the shotgun and ammunition later used in the shooting from the store, Suhr said.
The man then drove from San Bruno to the Mission neighborhood, where workers toiled on a replacement hospital building, before apparently climbing the stairs six stories up, Suhr said. Police later recovered the suspect’s vehicle at the scene.
Police responded to 911 reports of a suspect with two firearms on the roof of St. Luke’s, Suhr said. Three officers heard gunfire as they pulled up to the scene, looking upward and seeing the man pointing a rifle at the hospital and then lowering it toward the street.
The officers all shot at the suspect. Preliminary reports said there was a second shooter, but Suhr said that was not the case.
One St. Luke’s employee went to move her car when the situation unfolded. She was stopped at 27th and Guerrero streets by police officers who suddenly took cover behind their squad car.
“The police themselves squatted behind their police car and said, ‘Get down, get down,’” said Katherine Ives, a hospital specialist who works with children. “I took off running.”
Ives hid behind a stairway across the street, away from St. Luke’s and heard two loud bangs — gunshots, she said.
Marie Washington, a security guard at the construction site, said fleeing workers told her they saw the armed suspect jump a fence on Cesar Chavez Street and enter the construction site.
“I heard a gunshot,” Washington said, as fleeing workers were trying to signal people still atop the building.
Jim Macksood, vice president of communications for California Pacific Medical Center, said he was thankful San Francisco police and hospital security protected those nearby. “We’re safe and secure,” he said.
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