Two San Francisco police officers fatally shot a woman driver who hit multiple other vehicles and turned toward officers in pursuit in the city’s Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood, local media reports said late Tuesday. Authorities reportedly said that an investigation is underway into the incident.
The shooting took place near the intersection of Van Ness Avenue and Pine Street on Tuesday evening, following which the area was cordoned off by police, SF Gate reported. The officers, who were in plain clothes, were reportedly conducting a stolen car investigation at a gas station. Hector Sainez, deputy chief of San Francisco Police Department, reportedly said that the officers approached the woman's car -- a dark Volkswagen sedan -- and displayed their badges. However, he could not confirm if the vehicle used by the woman was the one that was reported stolen.
Sainaz reportedly said that the officers, who approached the woman on foot, fired the shots "fearing for their safety" as she started driving toward them. He added that no other person was injured in the incident.
“She’s crashing into every car,” an officer on the police scanner was heard saying at the time of the incident, according to SF Gate. “We may have to take lethal force.” The officer later said: “She’s running people over. We’ve got shots fired.”
Sainaz told SF Gate that investigators would also probe if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the incident.
An eyewitness told San Francisco Examiner that he heard shots being fired -- at first two, then possibly five more -- adding that he saw around “30 people running on the street.”