San Francisco police address public after latest officer-involved shooting

Mission district residents might be on edge about a possible increase in gang violence after an officer-involved shooting Sunday that followed the March 30 killing of 19-year-old college student Jacob Valdiviezo.

Early Sunday morning, a group of men leaving the Elbo Room were pursued up Valencia Street by another group of men, one of whom started waving around an air-powered gun in a threatening manner. After a bystander alerted police at Mission station — which was across the street — two officers arrived and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon.

After he didn’t comply, one officer fired three rounds at the man. Two bullets struck the man with the gun and one struck another man nearby.

It was the Police Department’s fourth officer-involved shooting this year.

Police Chief Greg Suhr addressed the shooting at a community meeting Tuesday near the scene of the incident.

A woman asked Suhr if he felt that gang violence was increasing in the neighborhood, saying residents are concerned, particularly after Valdiviezo’s killing.

“A lot of people are very concerned; this time they’re really angry,” the woman said.

Valdiviezo was killed in front of his family’s home after being asked his gang affiliation. His family said he had never been involved with a gang and was merely visiting from college in Oregon.

Suhr could not say if the altercation that spurred Sunday’s incident was gang related.

The chief did say the man struck with one bullet was in stable condition and the gun-wielding man was in serious condition, although he’s expected to recover. But he is unable to be interviewed due to his sedated condition, Suhr said.

Police also are unsure if the air-powered gun was operational at the time of the incident.  

In regards to more community outreach in the Mission, Suhr responded favorably.

“I was at Jacob’s parents’ family’s home for about an hour yesterday’” he said. “If no other family ever has to go through what they are going through that would work for me.

“It is unbelievably sad that that fine young guy lost his life to the situation,” he said. “So again, we’re all in this together. So whatever the community thinks works, we will be there and do whatever we can to make sure the kids are safe.”

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