Man killed by San Francisco police
may be linked to earlier homicide
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
March 8, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco police Chief Heather
Fong said Wednesday that a man killed by police in the South of
Market area may have been attempting to flee a murder scene by
forcing two men in a Jeep to drive him away.
Fong said the officer-involved shooting took place around 4:30
a.m. after two officers patrolling the area of Seventh and Townsend
streets saw a man leaning over a white Jeep Cherokee.
One of the occupants of the vehicle was motioning to the officers,
who then made a U-turn to investigate.
After the officers approached the man to see what he was doing,
he ran around the Jeep, emerged on the other side of the vehicle
and reportedly charged toward the officers with two large butcher
knives in each hand, Fong said.
The officers told the man repeatedly to drop the knives but he
continued to walk toward them, reportedly waving the knives. Then
he lunged at them and both officers fired, Fong continued.
"The officers were on proactive patrol trying to prevent
crime from happening," Fong said.
"They happened upon this situation and they took the actions
they felt were most appropriate."
After paramedics were called, the man was taken to San Francisco
General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The two men in the Jeep talked to police this morning and told
investigators that the knife wielding man had run around the corner
at Townsend and Seventh streets as they sat in their vehicle.
According to the two men, the suspect had ordered them to drive
him away from the scene. When they refused, the man tried to stab
them through the sunroof of the Jeep, narrowly missing them, Fong
Police now believe that this witness information possibly links
the man to a homicide that occurred just down the block at 785
Paramedics were called only minutes before at 4:28 a.m. to find
a man bleeding from stab wounds in a hallway on the ground floor
of the Galvin Apartments.
The victim, Marvin Harris, 59, was a resident at the private
apartment building for low income tenants. Neighbors had heard
an argument in the building and had found him in the hallway.
Harris died later at San Francisco General Hospital.
Randy Shaw, director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which
owns and rents out studio apartments in the building, said Harris
had really turned his life around and his death was a shame.
"Its really unfortunate that someone who lived with us for
years and graduated from (residential hotel) life to having his
own beautiful apartment would go like this," Shaw said.
Shaw believed the homicide happened inside Harris' apartment
by someone who knew the man. For Shaw, the homicide was an anomaly
for the clinic's many apartments.
"We release over 1,500 units to people, and we've seen thousands
of people come and go, and something like this has never happened,"
Shaw said, referring to the Galvin Apartments as "upscale
housing for low-income people."
The apartment building was completed in October.
As for the officer-involved shooting, Fong said the department
would follow protocol and initiate an internal investigation as
well as hand over evidence to the district attorney's office.
The names of the officers involved in the shooting have not been
"We do train our officers to be able to handle situations,
to be able to escalate the use of force as necessary, and when
officers are confronted by a situation where potentially someone
will be seriously injured or potentially killed, they are trained
and authorized to use deadly force," Fong said.
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