SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — New surveillance video released by an anonymous source Friday shows San Francisco police officers as they approach a homeless man allegedly armed with a knife just before he was fatally shot off camera Thursday morning.
The video shows how fast the police call escalated and turned deadly.
Police were called to the scene Thursday morning by a homeless outreach team, which said the man threatened members while waving a large knife.
Officers said the man threatened them as well, although some witnesses claimed they didn’t see that happen.
The short video obtained by KCBS can be watched below. WARNING: Graphic Audio.
In the clip, officers are seen arriving in their patrol vehicles on Shotwell Street in the Mission District at about 10 a.m. Thursday morning without lights or sirens. They get out of their vehicles and advance on the homeless man who is outside of the frame.
Officers can be heard ordering the suspect to get down on the ground before discharging several non-lethal bean-bag rounds and then firing on the man with their service weapons.
A bystander walking down the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street pauses briefly, startled by the commotion before running away once the barrage of gunfire commences.
- ALSO READ: San Francisco Police Trained To De-Escalate Violence In Encounters With Mentally-Ill Suspects
Early Friday afternoon, the man who was fatally shot was identified as 45-year-old San Francisco resident Luis Gongora, according to the city medical examiner’s office.
Some witnesses in the area said the man was confused and didn’t speak English and disputed the account by police.
Smith Patrick lives in an apartment across from where the shooting happened. She told KPIX 5 she knew Gongora.
“When I heard a voice say ‘Get on the ground,’ I ran up to the window to look,” remembered Patrick. “And I saw a man already on the ground and — although they said get on the ground a few more times — he was on the ground.”
Patrick said after two initial shots from the bean bag gun, she saw officers shoot both the bean bag gun and their firearms at the same time.
“As soon as the rifle shot I feel that the second gun then shot,” said Patrick. “They were shooting simultaneously.”
San Francisco police told media early Friday afternoon at a press briefing that witnesses to the officer-involved shooting were still being interviewed and the investigation was still ongoing.
Police said it has heard conflicting witness accounts, with some saying Fongora went at officers with a knife, which police showed photos of to the media on Friday.
“I never saw him do anything threatening to police,” said Patrick.
The incident could lead to more pressure for Police Chief Greg Suhr, who is still dealing with fallout from the December shooting of Mario Woods