Mario Woods, whose violent death at the hands of San Francisco police Wednesday was caught on video, was the 19th person shot by police since 2000 who had a knife or other such weapons when they died, according to an analysis of all such incidents.
Woods, 26, was allegedly holding a knife that he had reportedly used to stab someone some time before the Bayview shooting.
The shooting video showed more than five officers, all with their guns drawn, surround him and attempt to get him to surrender something he held under his shirt. As he slowly tried to walk away, several bean bags were fired at him and the pepper spray was used. But he still would not listen to orders from officers to surrender. Then, when he appeared to walk slowly toward an officer someone opened fire. A barrage of gunfire followed.
PAST SHOOTING INCIDENTS
San Francisco police are nearly as likely to shoot at someone driving at them in a car as someone with a gun, but suspects with a knife are more likely to die from an officer’s gunshot, according to data obtained from the Police Department listing all officer-involved shootings for the last 15 years.
In the majority of officer-involved shootings since 2000, the suspects had a gun, but in 28 cases, no weapon was present other than a vehicle. In 19 cases, the suspect was armed with a knife, hammer or other hand-held weapon.
But more people died at the hands of police when wielding knives and the like — 14 — than those with guns.
In 11 cases, suspects turned out to have no weapon, five resulting in death and three others in injuries.
Still, gun-wielding suspects were wounded 19 times, which is more often than the 12 wounded in car-related incidents or the five with knives.
These facts come from a list of officer-involved shootings obtained by The Examiner from 2000 to the present. The incidents exclude suicides and accidents and often involved multiple officers.
A Public Records Act request revealed that more than 376 officers have been involved in shooting incidents since 1990. Since 2000 41 people have died in 102 officer shooting incidents.
According to the department’s general orders on officers firing their gun, the police officer must be in imminent mortal danger or risk of bodily harm to do so. The same must be true if an officer fires a gun to defend another person. Shooting at a moving car is only allowed in similar circumstances or when someone has committed a violent felony and there is reasonable cause for them to do so again.
Eight officers have died in the line of duty since 2000.
Michael Barba contributed to this report.
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