SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — A San Francisco police officer who was shot in the head Friday night in the city’s Lake Shore neighborhood is partially paralyzed on one side of his body, interim Police Chief Toney Chaplin said Saturday.
Chaplin said police are not releasing the name of the officer, but he has been with the department for two years and is assigned to Taraval Station.
Chaplin said information has been circulating that the officer’s injury was a graze wound.
“It was a lot more than that,” he said. “One centimeter down and this may have been a fatality for the officer. He underwent surgery to remove fragments from his brain.”
The officer remains in critical, but stable condition after receiving a gunshot wound to the head, police said.
The incident began around 8:15 p.m., when police responded to the Lakeshore Shopping Center at 1501 Sloat Blvd. after receiving a call about a man causing a disturbance and making threats, police said.
When officers encountered the man in the first block of Everglade Drive, he fired several shots toward the officers, striking one of them in the head.
The suspect then ran toward Sigmund Stern Grove, according to police.
The injured officer’s partner provided first aid and requested backup, and officers established a perimeter around Stern Grove Park, police said.
The suspect came out of the bushes at 28th Avenue and Vicente Street and tried to run away. Officers however chased and shot the suspect, who fell to the ground while holding his gun to his chest and refusing to
surrender, according to police.
Tactical officers utilized flash-bang devices to distract the man, and were able to arrest him. The suspect was taken to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment of his injuries, police said.
Police have not released the name of the suspect. Chaplin said his officers are still looking into the person’s background.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee issued a statement saying, “Last night I received one of those calls that as a mayor you never want to receive. The phone call that tells you a police officer has been shot in the line of duty.”
“Each day, the members of the San Francisco Police Department face uncertainty and danger with the purpose of protecting our city and its residents. My thoughts remain with the officer and his family.”
Chaplin said a town hall meeting will be held next week to give residents information about the shooting.
“The officer and his family are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from members of the public as well as Mayor Ed Lee, the Board of Supervisors and the Police Commission. At this time, the officer’s family requests privacy to focus on a successful recovery. The suspect in the incident also remains in critical condition and is receiving care at San Francisco General Hospital. The suspect’s family has been able to visit with him and has been briefed on the investigation,” police said in a press release.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Downs.