A man who appeared to match the description of a stabbing suspect in the Bayview District of San Francisco, California, was shot and killed by police on Dec. 2 and much of the confrontation was caught on camera (video below).
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr told reporters that the stabbing suspect was confronted by five police officers while holding a kitchen knife that appeared to be 6 to 8 inches long, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The suspect was later identified as 26-year-old Mario Woods, the Associated Press notes.
About 45 minutes before Woods’ death, a man was stabbed in the Bayview District and the victim, who is expected to survive, described the suspect to investigators. Police then set up a perimeter in the area but as officers prepared to end their search, they came across Woods, the San Francisco Examiner reports. It remains unclear if Woods actually stabbed anyone.
At that point, the officers confronted Woods, who allegedly ignored orders to drop the knife. The police tried and failed to subdue him with non-lethal bean bags and pepper spray before Woods began to move, prompting officers to open fire.
Although in video footage of the shooting, captured by Instagram user daniggahot, Woods appears to be walking away from police, Suhr told reporters that he was moving towards police officers with the knife in his hand.
Most of the footage captured by daniggahot shows Woods with his back against the wall and bending over repeatedly while waving his hands. Woods’ final moments are not caught on camera, but shots can be heard as daniggahot gets onto a city bus.
Officers fired at Woods at least 15 times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Though the authenticity of the video on Instagram has yet to be confirmed, a second video taken from a different angle posted by Twitter user @Pacobaco_ appears to reinforce the footage captured by daniggahot.
(Screenshot of video footage Mark Woods and police, posted by Twitter user Pacobaco. Photo Credit: Pacobaco/Twitter)
Although all five officers involved in Woods’ death have been placed on administrative leave pending investigation, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi told the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s not convinced the officers’ actions were justified.
“It does not look like the officer who fired the fatal shots was in immediate danger of being killed,” he said.
Adachi added that it appeared the officer “can move back and at least order the person to the ground or use some other sort of defensive maneuver, rather than using a gun and shooting him point-blank.”
WARNING: This video contains graphic content and language.