DA declines to charge officers involved in fatal barber shop shootout

The exchange of gunfire killed the suspect, injured an officer and struck several bystanders

A crime scene photograph of the gun allegedly used by suspect Jehad Eid (Courtesy District Attorney’s Office) A crime scene photograph of the gun allegedly used by suspect Jehad Eid (Courtesy District Attorney’s Office)

Two officers will not face criminal charges for killing an armed suspect during a shootout inside a crowded barber shop in San Francisco’s Crocker-Amazon neighborhood, District Attorney George Gascon announced Thursday.

An investigation by the District Attorney’s Office found that officers Kevin Endo and Tess Casey were returning fire when they shot and killed 21-year-old Jehad Eid at the Amazon Barber Shop on March 21, 2018.

Police were searching for Eid at the barber shop on Geneva Avenue and London Street when he stood up from a chair and fired a semi-automatic pistol at the officers, striking Endo in the leg and injuring three bystanders, according to a newly released report on the investigation.

“Endo and Casey said they believed Mr. Eid posed a lethal threat when they used deadly force,” investigators said in the report. “Our investigation did not uncover any credible evidence that undermines the officers’ accounts.”

The police shooting resulted in two lawsuits against the San Francisco Police Department: one from the family, which argued that the officers used excessive force, and another from the bystanders who alleged that police acted negligently by confronting an armed suspect in a cramped space.

“He was not a threat to anyone and they killed him,” Dan Siegel, an attorney for the family, previously told the San Francisco Examiner.

The City Attorney’s Office, which is representing the Police Department in both lawsuits, has denied the allegations in each case.

The shooting unfolded in a matter of seven seconds.

The Independent Investigations Bureau, which is charged with investigating police shootings and deaths in police custody, found that Eid fired nine shots at the officers, who each fired 13 rounds back at him.

The officers were responding to a 911 call from a relative who reportedly said that Eid had threatened his family with a gun. The family member told the dispatcher that Eid was on drugs and had tried to break into their nearby house, according to IIB.

The officers each had body-worn cameras that recorded the shooting. The intense footage released by police shortly after the shooting shows Endo drop to the ground as he opens fire on Eid. The footage also shows Eid pointing a gun at the officers, the IIB report said.

In a footnote to the report, investigators said that the evidence suggests three bystanders were injured by Eid.

However, IIB said it was unclear whether a fourth bystander “was struck by gunfire from Mr. Eid or from one of the officers because he was sitting on the bench between Mr. Eid and the officers when the shooting occurred.”

That bystander was grazed by a bullet.

The charging decision was one of three that the District Attorney’s Office released Thursday. The other two cases are in-custody deaths that also did not result in Gascon deciding to file criminal charges.

In one case from January 2016, a man named Jeremy Andrews died after officers detained him for allegedly walking in traffic in the Richmond District, according to IIB.

Andrews was placed in handcuffs and left lying on the side of the road while police waited for an ambulance to arrive, IIB said.

Investigators found that there was no indication Andrews was having a medical emergency until paramedics arrived and realized he had no pulse.

The Medical Examiner’s Office later determined that his death was an accident caused by using methamphetamine.

In the last case, an inmate named Kyle Budner died at County Jail in May 2018. IIB said his death was later found to be due to natural causes.

“The investigation uncovered no evidence of foul play and Mr. Budner’s death likely stemmed from an infection,” IIB said in the report.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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