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Man Killed In SF Police Standoff Was Wanted In Mother’s Death

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San Francisco Police on the scene of a standoff in the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood on May 9, 2012. (CBS)

San Francisco Police on the scene of a standoff in the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood on May 9, 2012. (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A man shot dead by police at an apartment in San Francisco’s Lower Nob Hill neighborhood on Wednesday night was identified by authorities Thursday as 41-year-old Dennis Hughes, a Rohnert Park resident who was wanted in connection with his mother’s death.

Investigators were seeking Hughes as a person of interest in the murder of his mother, Dianne Hughes, 66, who was found dead Tuesday at her home in the 600 block of Bernice Avenue in Rohnert Park that she shared with Dennis, police said at a news conference in San Francisco Thursday morning.

Police received information that Dennis Hughes had a girlfriend who lived in San Francisco, and went to her apartment at 861 Post St. shortly before 8:50 p.m., Rohnert Park Director of Public Safety Brian Masterson said.

When the officers arrived at the apartment, the girlfriend opened the door and they observed that she was “ashen, and seemed very nervous and anxious,” Masterson said.

Although the officers could not see Hughes, they called out to him and he responded from somewhere inside the apartment.

As the officers engaged him in conversation, Hughes allegedly fired rounds through the apartment wall, missing the officers, Masterson said.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

The officers retreated and called for backup from San Francisco police, who responded and helped evacuate residents from the building.

A standoff ensued, during which Hughes shot his gun “through the floor, through the ceiling, through the walls—at any hearing of any motion, whether it was officers or residents,” San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr said.

Suhr said Hughes then lit items on fire in one of the apartment’s bedrooms.

Because of the fires, “coupled with the fact that we had an active shooter … the decision was made that if the threat could be neutralized, that should happen,” Suhr said.

At about 10 p.m., a police sharpshooter fired a shot into the building from the south, hitting and killing Hughes, who was in the rear of the apartment, Suhr said.

Firefighters then went into the apartment and extinguished the blaze, which was confined to the one unit, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said.

One San Francisco police officer was injured in the standoff, and was taken to a hospital for treatment and released. No other injuries were reported.

“But for the grace of God, we didn’t suffer a tragedy,” he said.

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, whose district includes the neighborhood where the standoff happened, said at the news conference that the fact that no one else was seriously hurt “is a testament to work of our men and women in uniform.”

Two handguns were recovered from inside the apartment, Suhr said.

Hughes’ girlfriend was being interviewed by investigators Thursday.

A white Toyota Highlander that belonged to Dianne Hughes was found parked in the area after the standoff.

The officer-involved shooting is being investigated by the San Francisco Police Department’s homicide detail, its internal affairs division, the San Francisco district attorney’s and medical examiner’s offices and the city’s Office of Citizen Complaints.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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