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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.

Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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