A man who claims he saw law enforcement officers shoot his friend earlier this week following a police pursuit that ended in San Francisco’s Oceanview neighborhood claims his friend was not the initial driver of the stolen car police were pursuing, nor did he threaten the officers.
Ansar Mohammad, 39, who was shot by an officer around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and remains hospitalized in serious condition, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and the unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle.
A California Highway Patrol officer was also injured in the incident, but was released from the hospital Wednesday.
Police have said the driver of the stolen Honda led a San Mateo County multi-agency unit specializing in car theft on a chase that ended in San Francisco. When police approached the Honda near the intersection of Montana and Faxon streets, officers from CHP and the San Mateo Police Department discharged their firearms, leaving Mohammad injured.
The San Francisco Police Department, which had no officers involved in the incident but is leading the investigation, referred questions to the agencies involved.
A CHP spokesperson, meanwhile, said all questions should be referred to the SFPD.
A San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson did not return a call for comment.
Gregory Elarms, a witnesses to the incident, said Thursday that Mohammad, also known as Notorious Dickerson, was shot without reason at Montana Street and Capitol Avenue. The witness also said there was no way Mohammad was the driver who led police on a pursuit.
Elarms, a longtime friend of Mohammad, said his friend came to his house for a visit about an hour before the incident in a Dodge Mercury.
“He pulled up to my house in his car, a Dodge Mercury. That was around 2:30 p.m.,” said Elarms, a 31-year-old resident of the neighborhood.
Some time later, Elarms said, Mohammad walked to a parked Honda and got inside and started the engine. That’s when plainclothes officers in a Dodge Charger and officers who had been inside two white vans surrounded the Honda with guns drawn.
“As soon as he got in that car, the police ambushed him when [he] started [it.]” Elarms said. “The police just opened fire.”
Elarms said one officer in plain clothes jumped in front of the Honda, which was moving slowly but had no avenue for escape.
The federal Department of Justice recently recommended in an assessment of the SFPD that officers be barred from shooting at moving vehicles in all but a few instances.
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