(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Officers named in fatal SFPD shooting of 21-year-old man

The officers involved in the first deadly San Francisco police shooting in more than two years have been identified by sources as Kyle Roach and Nick Delgado from Southern Station.

The shooting occurred shortly before midnight Saturday after officers responding to a report of an attempted carjacking with a knife near Market and Gough streets spotted a suspect, police said.

The officers pursued the man to Otis Street between Gough and 12th streets, where they tried to detain him. At least one officer then discharged their firearm, striking Fairfield resident Cesar Vargas.

Vargas, 21, died at the scene despite medical attention from officers.

Police have not released a detailed account of the moments that led up to police shooting Vargas. A knife was found at the scene, but police have not said whether Vargas used the blade against the officers.

Police have also not confirmed how many officers opened fire.

Roach and Delgado have been with the San Francisco Police Department since August 2015, according to department records.

A November 2018 police newsletter mentioned their efforts investigating a shooting incident.

“Ofc Roach and Ofc Delgado directed their department issued handguns towards [a detainee and suspect] due to the felony nature of the crimes being investigated,” the newsletter read. The suspect and detainee “were both detained without incident.”

The duo was also featured on the news site Hoodline in May 2017, when they helped rescue a baby sea lion at Taraval Station.

A preliminary search of state and federal civil court records did not return cases against Roach or Delgado.

This is the first fatal SFPD shooting since police exchanged gunfire with 21-year-old Jehad Eid inside a barbershop on Geneva Avenue in March 2018.

Officers have shot others since, but those incidents have all been non-fatal.

It is the first police killing under District Attorney Chesa Boudin, a progressive prosecutor who has pledged to hold officers accountable.

The shooting will also be viewed in light of the mass protests against police brutality over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.

A Defund SFPD Now organizer addresses demonstrators in the Tenderloin on Oct. 12. (Sakura Sato/Special to S.F. Examiner)
A Defund SFPD Now organizer addresses demonstrators in the Tenderloin on Oct. 12. (Sakura Sato/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A Defund SFPD Now organizer addresses demonstrators in the Tenderloin on Oct. 12. (Sakura Sato/Special to S.F. Examiner)
A Defund SFPD Now organizer addresses demonstrators in the Tenderloin on Oct. 12. (Sakura Sato/Special to S.F. Examiner)

The shooting prompted an anti-police demonstration Monday night led by a group called Defund SFPD Now to Tenderloin Station.

The group released a statement that said, “regardless of what details emerge around the shooting, there is no justification for this loss of life.”

“This was murder, not justice,” organizer Alex Karim said in the statement.

Police plan to provide more details about the shooting and body-worn camera footage of the incident at a town hall meeting Monday.

“Unfortunately, a person involved in the incident lost his life,” Police Chief Bill Scott said Wednesday at the Police Commission.

A police spokesperson declined to confirm the names of the any officers involved to the San Francisco Examiner.

“Name(s) of involved member(s) are generally released within 10 days and in conjunction with the town hall process – provided there are no credible threats against the officer(s),” the police spokesperson said.

Tony Montoya, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, said the union is providing legal representation for the officers.

“Based on the information we have, the officers had to react in self-defense,” Montoya said. “Like everyone else, we are waiting for more information to become available.”

Harry Stern, an attorney who is representing Roach, said he is hoping and expecting the department to give “a complete account” of the incident at the town hall meeting.

“So I am not making any detailed comment about what took place (for now),” Stern said. “I will say that this was an entirely lawful use of force under any applicable standard.”

An attorney for Delgado did not respond to a request for comment.

The shooting is under investigation by multiple entities including the Department of Police Accountability and District Attorney’s Office.

The virtual town hall meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday and can be viewed on SFGovTV via Youtube or on Facebook.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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