Police shoot senior citizen

Police shot a mental health patient Thursday morning after she allegedly threatened to kill them with a knife.

The woman, in her 60s, had survived as of Thursday evening but remained hospitalized, San Francisco Police Sgt. Wilfred Williams said.

A social worker was visiting a client at 1941 15th St., in the Mission Dolores neighborhood, Williams said. The patient lived in a mental health facility run by Department of Public Health contractor Conard House, according to Public Health Assistant Director Jim Soos, who could not confirm if the social worker was a public employee.

During the visit, the patient began threatening to kill the social worker if he did not leave her apartment. He left the apartment and called police for assistance around 11:10 a.m., Williams said.

When police arrived and entered the patient’s room, she picked up a knife and continued to threaten to kill anyone who came near, Williams said. He said the room was narrow and she was very near the officers. Police used pepper spray to subdue the woman, but it was ineffective at subduing her, Williams said.

“The subject then lunged at the officer with the knife” and the officer fired at the patient “to eliminate the threat,” he said.

The woman was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, he said.

For hours Thursday, investigators filed in and out of the yellow, four-story apartment complex and police at the scene confirmed that Police Department’s homicide and management control sections, the District Attorney’s Office and the city’s Office of Citizen’s Complaints were investigating.

David Harness, a longtime neighborhood resident, said he heard about five or six gunshots about 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

The incident is The City’s second police shooting of the year. In January, a call by Police Chief Heather Fong reporting an aggressive panhandler on Van Ness Avenue at Greenwich Street resulted in a police chase. The man allegedly turned on police with an 8-inch knife. An officer shot the man, 55-year-old Leonard Michael Cole, who died a few hours later.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

Lethal force

Some officer-involved shootings in San Francisco in recent years:

Jan. 2008: Leonard Michael Cole, police say he brandished knife

Jan. 2007: Mario Vargas, shot outside Outer Mission pizzeria. Police say he brandished gun

June 2006: Oliver Lifiti, shot to death in the Mission. Police said he was trying to ram them with his car

June 2006: Asa Sullivan, shot to death in attic at Villa Park Merced apartment. Police said he had an object in his hand

May 2004: Cammerin Boyd, shot to death after high-speed chase

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