Officers involved in fatal
San Francisco shooting incident named
By Angela Hokanson and Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
June 10, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The San Francisco Police Department
has released the names of the two officers involved in the Tuesday
night shooting at the Villas Parkmerced apartment complex that
left one person dead.
Officer Michelle Alvis, 28, who has been with the department
for three years, and Officer John Keesor, 35, who has been with
the department for four years, have been placed on paid administrative
leave while the incident is investigated, according to San Francisco
police Sgt. Neville Gittens.
San Francisco resident Asa Sullivan, 25, was shot and killed
by police after he fled to the attic of the apartment where he
was staying with a friend.
Police had been called to the Villas Parkmerced apartments, near
San Francisco State University, around 8:50 p.m. Tuesday on reports
from neighbors of squatters in an uninhabited apartment. Gittens
said the apartment complex has had problems in the past with trespassers,
and management had asked residents to report any suspicious activity.
Officers contacted security and then entered the two-floor apartment
at 2 Garces Drive. Gittens did not know if the officers entered
by force, by key or if the door was open.
Once inside, the officers encountered Sullivan and another man.
Sullivan fled upstairs to the attic. Officers attempted to get
him to come out, but he refused, saying he didn't want to go back
to jail, Gittens said.
Alvis and Keesor followed Sullivan into the attic. The attic
was dark and the officers used a flashlight to see. The officers
said that once they were inside the attic, Sullivan took a shooting
stance, extending his arms in front of him and clasping his hands
around a "cylindrical" object.
Gittens did not say what Sullivan was holding in his hands, but
investigators did not find a gun anywhere in the attic. Police
say Keesor shot first and the bullet ricocheted around the attic
and nicked Alvis' ear. Then, Alvis fired. Gittens said he does
not know how many rounds were fired, but Sullivan was hit and
died in the attic.
The San Francisco medical examiner's office reported yesterday that
Sullivan's death remains under investigation.
The ricocheting bullets also pierced the attic floor, causing
the other officers inside the apartment to take cover. The officers
never fired back, Gittens said.
Internal affairs, the homicide detail and the district attorney's
office have all launched separate investigations into the incident.
A representative from the Office of Citizen Complaints was also
present during the preliminary investigation.
"I want to emphasize that this incident shows the extreme
difficulties and stressful circumstances that officers find themselves
in," police Chief Heather Fong said Wednesday.
Police arrested the other man in the apartment. Gittens said
he did not know what charges he faces.
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