Tuesday Shooting

ShootsceneAt work the other afternoon, about 1:55 p.m., I  heard a series of quick gunshots. An opening shot, just a blink of a pause, then four very rapidly. Several people commented on the shots, and after a few seconds, I climbed up on my desk to look through the blinds. My window has a view to the south overlooking a construction site on Townsend Street; beyond lie a series of streets that lead up to Potrero Hill or toward a commuter railyard. It wasn’t clear where the shots were coming from, but someone exclaimed, “Look at that truck,” and said something about a cop. Across the way, maybe 60 or 70 yards from us, we saw a white pickup-type truck (others recognized it as a Toyota 4Runner) with smoke or steam coming up from the front. Also, a motorcycle policeman who apparently had fired the shots; can’t remember exactly where he was when I first saw him — behind the truck, I think. Within 30 seconds or so, other police units started arriving; in a couple minutes, about 15 or 20 squad cars and police motorcycles had arrived, and officers clustered around the truck. It looked like there was a figure in the driver’s seat — but given the distance and the angle we had, it was hard to tell. After another five minutes or so — or about seven or eight minutes after the shooting (2:02 or so), a San Francisco Fire Department ambulance arrived; paramedics went to the truck with some kind of hand-carried case while others got a stretcher out of the back of their vehicle. Within two or three minutes, they took the stretcher back to the ambulance. Everyone watching knew whoever was in the truck was dead.

About 2:07, or 12 minutes after the shots were fired, the first news cameraman appeared on the scene, and lots more cops kept coming, too — the uniformed people supplemented by a variety of guys in suits and crime-scene technicians. The picture above, shot at about 2:25, shows the white 4Runner to the left, the ambulance to the right, and the cop onlookers and investigators (I mean, I don’t see how they all could have been investigating) scattered around the site.

Here’s The Chronicle’s first-day story on the shooting, from Wednesday’s paper; a followup published Thursday; and a picture of the scene published Thursday on the Chron site.

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