San Francisco police officers fatally shot a suspected stabber in Bayview District and the incident was caught on camera by a witness who later uploaded it to Instagram.
The short clip appears to show the moments right before the shooting when nearly five officers surrounded the man waving a knife in his hands and leaning against the wall.
A female bystander can be heard shouting, “Just drop it!” as the suspect starts walking away from the cops.
At that moment, the officers open fire and the camera turns away. A barrage of gunshots — at least 15 — can be heard in the background.
SFPD Chief Suhr says they fired beanbags at man with knife and other less-lethal at ground before fatal shooting in Bayview— Michael Barba (@mdbarba) December 3, 2015
Police Chief Greg Suhr claim they first warned the man with lead-filled beanbag pellets. However, when he fell and got up again, he allegedly approached one officer, still holding the knife.
“We have since recovered or found some video, they appear to show the officers encircle him and they appear to show the suspect moving toward the officer before the shots were fired,” Suhr said, according to the SF Examiner.
However, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi says the man didn’t pose direct threat to the officers.
“It does not look like the officer who fired the fatal shots was in immediate danger of being killed,” he told SF Gate after watching the Instagram video, adding the cops could have used a defense maneuver instead of shooting him point blank.
The investigation is ongoing and the suspect’s identity has not yet been released.