The San Francisco suspect who shot an officer on Friday has died today. Officer Kevin Downs, who was shot by the suspect, has undergone surgery to remove bullet fragments from his brain after he was shot in the head during a confrontation at the Lakeshore Shopping Center.
On Friday, officers responded to a call of a man making threats to customers at Lakeshore Shopping Center. When officers arrived, the suspect took off and fires were shot. Alex Melendez, a witness, said that he heard it go down.
“Two people, a cop and then the other guy was running from this direction that way and then all we heard was shots, like four or five shots and then we heard a scream like officer down really loudly.”
SFPD Interim Chief Toney Chaplan said that Officer Downs was shot in the head and had to be rushed into surgery.
“He underwent surgery to remove fragments from his brain and he still has partial paralysis on the side of his body from a shot to the head.”
The suspect continued running for several blocks after he shot Officer Downs. Eventually, officers were able to corner him at a youth behavioral health center, the Edgewood.
A San Francisco police officer is shot in head while responding to reports of a mentally disturbed person https://t.co/1mVF0LhRQm— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 15, 2016
The Edgewood school CFO, Melek Totah, revealed that they immediately went into lock-down when they noticed what was happening.
“There was various number of pops, and then we saw somebody running through the campus. So we went into our lock-down protocol and got all the kids in the stairways.”
The suspect attempted to hold off police at a playground, but was unsuccessful. The suspect was shot and taken into custody by the police. It was revealed that the suspect has died from his injuries on Sunday evening.
Michael Pritchard is a good friend of Officer Downs.
“He’s a remarkable, resilient young man. He is the kind of noble spirit we’re honored to have serve us in our community.”
Toney Chaplin told reporters that if the bullet would have hit just one more centimeter down, Officer Downs would have been killed, SF Gate reports.
Downs is currently recovering at San Francisco General Hospital. Chaplin told reporters that everything was done to give the suspect a chance to live.
“This is 21st century policing at its best. They did everything they could to make sure sure that at least the subject had a fighting chance.”
While the suspect lost his life, we still remain optimistic for Officer Downs to pull through. Chaplin mentioned that Officer Downs has been with the San Francisco Police Department for two years. Officer Downs co-founded Ranchin’ Vets, an organization to help serve 9/11 veterans to transition from military to civilian life. While he was off during the summers as he attended Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland, he spent his summers working on the ranch.
The organization’s website shares some comments straight from Officer Downs.
“At the end of every day when the sun was going down and the fog was rolling in I would drive my four-wheeler to the top of the hill, turn off the engine and just listen. All I could hear was the sound of the cows ripping the grass from the earth. It was incredibly peaceful. We want to share that experience with our veterans.”
Officer Downs saw the struggle after his brother, who served in the United States Marine Corps, struggled to transition back to civilian life after years of service.
Chaplin, although very concerned for Officer Downs, is very thankful for the officers in San Francisco. He is very thankful for the support and thoughtfulness that everyone has towards Officer Downs.
“Our officers each day put their lives at risk to protect and serve San Francisco, and we are grateful for the outpouring of support we saw Friday evening from San Franciscans who were concerned for the officer’s well-being.”
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
[Featured Image by Eric Risberg/AP Images]