SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco police were investigating an officer-involved shooting after a man with a knife refused to disarm himself, according to witnesses.
The shooting happened on the sidewalk on Market Street in front of the Westfield Mall.
Just after 5 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to a fight between a group of men. When officers arrived, they encountered a man with a knife, said Officer Robert Rueca, a San Francisco Police Department spokesman.
Witness Ezra Ortiz told KPIX5 the man with the knife was acting erratically, refusing to obey police orders to put the weapon down.
“It was a big knife, pretty damn big knife, said Ortiz. “He was walking around with it, waving it around. The cops tried to seclude him and get him away from the public … they got him secluded and he was not moving and he was still being sporadic. They were trying to get him to follow directions and he wasn’t following directions and unfortunately they fired on him tonight.”
BREAKING: Officer-involved shooting in San Francisco. @SFPD PIO Robert Rueca confirms an officer shot someone on Market Street near 5th. The man was rushed to the hospital and is still alive, Rueca said. pic.twitter.com/bBqV9CLIk3
— Joe Vazquez (@joenewsman) November 18, 2020
Other witnesses said there was a flurry of shots fired during the incident. One told KPIX that, during the aftermath of the shooting, one of the officers in the group of police surrounding the man who was shot raised his hand to show the crowd of onlookers that a knife had been recovered at the scene.
Paramedics rushed the man to the hospital where he was treated for at least one gunshot wound.
Rueca said several different weapons were used. Officers fired less-lethal rounds from what is commonly known as a beanbag gun. Sheriff deputies also used a taser on the man. And then at some point, at least one officer fired his service revolver. Rueca said it is not clear which weapons were used in what order or how many officers fired their guns.
“We know that an officer-involved shooting occurred,” said Rueca. The time frame of when weapons were used at what time during the contact are all under investigation.”Police in San Francisco on Tuesday night are investigating an officer-involved shooting on Market Street downtown that sent one man who was reportedly armed with a knife to the hospital.
The city issued an alert at 5:20 p.m. advising the public to avoid the area of Market and Fifth streets, noting that emergency crews are on scene.
ALERTSF: Avoid the area of Market St & 5th St due to Police Activity. Emergency crews are on scene.
— San Francisco Department of Emergency Management😷 (@SF_emergency) November 18, 2020
Police could be seeing behind crime-scene tape in an area of sidewalk in front of the Westfield San Francisco Centre entrance on Market Street.
Earlier, BART issued an alert that the Powell Street Station was shut down due to police activity at about 5:40 p.m. There was no confirmation so far that the station closure was related to the shooting, but BART officials tweeted that there was police activity at the street level nearby.
— SFBART (@SFBART) November 18, 2020
Trains were running through the station during the closure. It reopened by 6:15 p.m.