Barbers injured in deadly police shootout sue SFPD

The gun battle killed 21-year-old Jehad Eid and injured five others, including an officer

Two bystanders who were injured during a deadly police shootout at a barbershop in the Excelsior have filed a lawsuit against San Francisco.

The lawsuit, filed March 15 alleges that officers Tess Casey and Kevin Endo acted negligently when they confronted a suspect inside the crowded Amazon Barber Shop despite knowing that he had a gun.

The gun battle that erupted March 21, 2018 killed the 21-year-old suspect, Jehad Eid, and wounded five others, including Endo. Among the injured were barbers Ernest “Doc” Conway and Eid Abdelwahhab, who filed the lawsuit.

Conway and Abdelwahhab are seeking more than $25,000 in damages.

The lawsuit argues that police mishandled the situation. Officers were investigating Eid at the time for allegedly threatening his family, flashing a gun and trying to break into the garage of their home earlier that day.

“Despite their knowledge that Jehad Eid was armed and potentially dangerous based on prior reports of his conduct from his own family and that there were approximately eleven innocent bystanders in the tight-quartered barbershop, they nevertheless confronted Eid,” attorney Greg Bianco said in the lawsuit.

But John Cote, a spokesperson for the City Attorney’s Office, argued that police were responding to “a fluid situation.”

“They could not know that the suspect would pull out his gun and open fire when they approached him,” Cote said.

Body-worn camera footage captured the chaotic scene that unfolded as the officers entered the shop. Police said Eid, sitting on the couch in the back of the shop, drew a pistol and fired nine rounds at the officers.

The officers fired 26 bullets at Eid, striking him 18 times.

Endo was shot in the leg. The footage showed him fall to the ground, still firing his gun, and brace himself with one arm.

As the gunshots ring out, a man can be heard screaming, “ I got kids here!”

Eid was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Conway was shot in the hip, while Abdelwahhab was struck in the foot.

According to the lawsuit, the barbers had no clue that Eid had a gun.

“At no time prior to the gun battle did any San Francisco police officer inform [the barbers] of the danger or try to get them or any other innocent bystanders out of the barbershop prior to confronting [Eid],” Bianco wrote.

Bianco could not be reached for comment.

Cote, from the City Attorney’s Office, said the officers were focused on investigating the crime and then “on stopping the immediate threat the suspect posed to themselves and the bystanders.”

“No one wants to see anyone get hurt in a situation like this,” Cote said. “The officers acted lawfully and courageously, and this lawsuit is simply baseless.”

The police shooting remains under investigation by the District Attorney’s Office, which will determine whether the officers will face criminal charges.

As for Eid, his family has since filed an excessive force lawsuit against the San Francisco Police Department.

“He was not a threat to anyone and they killed him,” said Dan Siegel, an attorney for the family.

Siegel declined to comment on whether he believed Eid shot first.

Seigal said the shooting deeply impacted the family.

“They are extremely distraught,” Siegel said. “They feel his loss very keenly, and based on my experience I believe they will feel this way for a long.”

That case is currently scheduled for trial in April 2020.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

 

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