A U.S. Park Police vehicle. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Man shot by park police in SF had gun, but never fired it, defense attorney says

The man shot Tuesday by a U.S. Park Police officer in San Francisco had a stolen pistol with “an extremely large extended magazine,” according to prosecutors, but a defense attorney said Friday the man never fired the gun at police.

Devon Flanagan,28, suffered injuries considered life-threatening Tuesday night when the unidentified officer shot him on Van Ness Avenue near Aquatic Park at around 9:31 p.m., authorities said.

Court proceedings Friday revealed that Flanagan and 21-year-old Robert Francisco Quiroz were in a vehicle when police shot at the car multiple times for reasons that have not been disclosed.

SEE RELATED: Suspect shot by U.S. Park Police in SF identified as 28-year-old man

Both men are facing gun possession charges in San Francisco Superior Court.

Deputy Public Defender Ilona Solomon, who is representing Quiroz, said Flanagan was the driver and Quiroz was the passenger in the vehicle. Solomon said police recovered the pistol on the floorboard of the driver’s seat.

“There’s not a single shred of evidence that anyone shot that gun,” Solomon said. “The only evidence is that police shot the driver.”

Assistant District Attorney Katy Wells said in court she did not yet know what led up to the police shooting, but that Flanagan had the gun with the “extremely large extended magazine” that was reported stolen out of another county.

Wells argued that Flanagan should be held without bail because of his criminal history, which includes 10 parole violations since 2014, seven felony convictions, a misdemeanor conviction and a 2009 arrest in connection with a homicide.

Flanagan was reportedly acquitted of murder in the homicide arrest.

The U.S. Park Police has not released information in the shooting but said the officer who opened fire is on paid administrative leave and that the officer will not be identified unless charged with a crime.

“The San Francisco Police Department is handling the investigation to ensure it is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner,” the federal department said in a statement. “The U.S. Park Police are fully cooperating with the investigation.”

Flanagan is being held in custody at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. His arraignment was delayed until Monday.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Teresa Caffese ordered him held without bail, citing public safety concerns “given his significant criminal history.”

Quiroz, on the other hand, has no criminal history. The El Sobrante resident, whose father and brother sat in the courtroom, pleaded not guilty.

“I have very little experience being in court and being in this position,” Quiroz told the judge when she asked if he needed help accessing city services.

Cafesse ordered that he be released from jail ahead of trial on conditions including that he be subject to warrantless searches and not possess a firearm.

“This is the first time I’ve seen you in court,” Cafesse told Quiroz. “I’m concerned about who you are hanging out with and what’s going on. I want you to be safe and I want to be sure that you don’t end up dead or involved in something more serious.”

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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