The U.S. Park Police officer who shot the driver of a parked car in San Francisco saw the man “wield” a pistol with an extended magazine at him before opening fire, prosecutors have alleged in a new court filing.
The officer, whose name has not been released to the public, shot 28-year-old Devon Flanagan as he sat behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry near Aquatic Park on the night of Oct. 16. Flanagan survived the shooting and has since been charged with various counts of illegal gun possession.
Authorities had not offered a public explanation for the shooting until the District Attorney’s Office included one in a motion seeking to detain Flanagan in jail without bail on Monday.
“The officer approached and was standing outside the driver’s side door when he saw the defendant wield a semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine at him,” prosecutors wrote. “The officer shot the defendant several times, hitting him in his lower chest.”
But Silas Geneson, an attorney for Flanagan, said he has not seen evidence that his client wielded the gun or even touched it.
“I find it really puzzling and troubling as to where that information came from,” said Geneson, who has not been presented with a statement from the officer who shot Flanagan. “It is not in any of the materials I’ve been provided with.”
Flanagan was rushed to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital for surgery. When he awoke the next morning, prosecutors say Flanagan told police “the last thing he remembered in San Francisco was getting high on heroin and cocaine.”
“He recalled being on a hill and headlights but did not recall being shot,” prosecutors said in the motion. “He was with one or two people and they didn’t know how to get out of San Francisco.”
Flanagan also allegedly told police “he had been shot in the past and that there was ‘money on his head out of West Oakland.’”
Geneson doubted that the statements would be admissible in court since even the District Attorney’s Office admitted in the motion that Flanagan was “difficult to understand since he had been sedated and was groggy.”
Flanagan has since been released from the hospital and appeared in court with the assistance of a wheelchair on Monday, pleading not guilty to the charges.
“He’s paralyzed as a result of a prior incident,” Geneson said. “He has an in-home care provider and he receives social security for being disabled, and he’s far worse off now that he’s been shot.”
A San Francisco Superior Court judge set his bail at $75,000.
The U.S. Park Police previously said the officer who shot Flanagan was placed on paid administrative leave and will not be identified unless charged with a crime.
When police shot Flanagan, 20-year-old Robert Francisco Quiroz was in the passenger’s seat of the car. He pleaded not guilty last week to illegal gun possession charges and has since been released from jail.
Prosecutors say the pistol Flanagan and Quiroz are charged with having was reported stolen out of another county.
When police found the gun on the driver’s side floorboard, Quiroz allegedly told officers, “I just want you to know that my fingerprints are probably going to be on the gun.”
Both men are charged with possession of stolen firearm and possession of an extended magazine.
Flanagan is facing three additional counts related to being a felon in possession of a firearm and a fourth count for driving with a suspended or revoked license.
In 2010, Flanagan was convicted of assault with deadly weapon in Alameda County. He has a previous arrest for homicide, but was acquitted of murder in that case.
Flanagan is due back in court Wednesday for a detention hearing.