Call of a Fight Involving a Man with a Knife Leads to Officer Involved Shooting (Town Hall Notes) 20-133(b)
The following information is based on a preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview witnesses, review physical and electronic records, and analyze forensic evidence. The Department's understanding of the facts and circumstances may change as additional evidence is collected and analyzed.
The information provided today regarding these events is based on a preliminary review of Body-Worn Camera and surveillance video; initial statements and interviews; and evidence processed to this point.
The Officer-Involved Shooting (or “OIS”) that occurred Tuesday, November 17, 2020, was preceded by two incidents:
- The first, in which the suspect, identified as Antonio Estrada, committed arson of an inhabited dwelling;
- · And the second, in which Mr. Estrada engaged in an armed confrontation with a knife.
Both incidents occurred in the Tenderloin Police District of San Francisco. The incident involving the knife occurred in close proximity to the officer-involved shooting, both in location and time.
Summary of Events
The precise chronology of these events remains a focus of ongoing investigations. As these investigations unfold, we expect to learn more details. The following, however, summarizes events understood as of today: Tuesday, November 24, 2020.
- On Tuesday, November 17, at approximately 3:46 p.m., the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management received a call regarding a fire on the 400 block of Ellis Street. While on the second floor of the building, an individual, identified as Witness 1, smelled the odor of gasoline emanating from one of the apartments. Witness 1 advised a second individual, Witness 2, and the two responded to the apartment to inquire about the odor.
- Both Witnesses made contact with the resident of the apartment, who was later identified as Antonio Estrada. Mr. Estrada opened the door and ran out of the apartment holding a frying pan in his left hand, and a screwdriver in his right hand. As Mr. Estrada held the frying pan in his hand, one of the Witnesses noticed that the cooking surface of the pan was on fire.
- Once outside his apartment, Mr. Estrada poured gasoline from a red gas can onto the hallway floor. Mr. Estrada then bent down and dropped an unknown object onto the floor, at which time the gasoline ignited in flames. Mr. Estrada then left the building.
- The San Francisco Fire Department arrived on scene and extinguished the fire. Officers from Tenderloin Station also arrived at the scene to investigate the circumstances of the fire, as did members of the San Francisco Fire Department-San Francisco Police Department Arson Task Force. Officers located the red gas can on the hallway floor in front of Mr. Estrada’s open apartment door. Officers observed that the inside of the apartment was charred, and they smelled the distinct odor of gasoline coming from the room.
- Officers reviewed building surveillance footage of the second-floor hallway, and they observed a large explosion erupt from the area of Mr. Estrada’s apartment. The squall of fire that emerged from the area of Mr. Estrada’s apartment covered the entire view of the surveillance camera, as you will observe in the footage we’ll show shortly.
- A third individual, Witness 3, showed officers a photo of Mr. Estrada that Witness 3 had captured on a cell phone. In the photo, Mr. Estrada is wearing a grey long-sleeved shirt, black Adidas pants with three white stripes on the side, black shoes, and is holding a frying pan in his left hand. Officers searched the area for Mr. Estrada and were unable to locate him at the time.
- At 5:09 p.m. — approximately one hour and 25 minutes after the arson was first reported — the Department of Emergency Management (or “DEM”) received multiple 911 calls regarding male subjects fighting in the area of Market and 5th Streets. One of the subjects was reported to have a large knife and carrying a frying pan. Callers described this subject to DEM as a Latino or mixed-race male, wearing a grey sweater, and black pants with white stripes on the side.
- A witness, who was standing outside of 865 Market Street at the time of the fight, recorded cell phone video of the incident. The video shows the following:
o Mr. Estrada was standing on Market Street near the Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround, holding a large knife in his right hand, and a frying pan in his left hand.
o Mr. Estrada held the knife in an overhanded or “stabbing” grip.
o Three unknown males appeared to surround Mr. Estrada in the middle of the street. One of the unknown males had a closed umbrella, and another unknown male had what appeared to be a camping chair — and both were swinging the respective objects at Mr. Estrada.
o Mr. Estrada took a fighting stance position and swung both the frying pan and the knife at the males. Mr. Estrada repeatedly raised the knife above his head and made stabbing motions towards the male with the umbrella and the male with the camping chair.
o At one point, the unknown male with the umbrella is seen running away from Mr. Estrada — who chases the man while making multiple downward stabbing attempts from behind.
o It is unclear from this video if the unknown males were seeking to disarm Mr. Estrada, or if they were all mutually engaged in an altercation.
- At approximately 5:12 p.m., Tenderloin Station patrol officers arrived on the 800 block of Market Street and encountered Mr. Estrada in the street in front of 835 Market Street. At this time, the officers were unaware of Mr. Estrada’s involvement in the arson. The first officer was equipped with a 12-gauge Extended Range Impact Weapon (or “ERIW”), which deploys less-lethal “Super Sock” bean bag projectiles. The second officer was equipped with his department-issued firearm. Mr. Estrada was armed with a knife in his right hand and a frying pan in his left hand.
- Officers immediately ordered Mr. Estrada to drop the knife; however, he refused to comply with their multiple commands. Mr. Estrada repeatedly raised the knife above his head in a stabbing motion. Officers continued to order Mr. Estrada to “drop the knife.” He responded, “F*** you!”
- Mr. Estrada then stepped onto the sidewalk and started walking eastbound while brandishing the knife above his head in a stabbing motion. The first officer deployed his ERIW at Mr. Estrada which had no effect upon him. Mr. Estrada then ran directly at the first officer with the knife in his right hand and frying pan in his left hand. The second officer then discharged his firearm at Mr. Estrada. Mr. Estrada fell to the sidewalk and dropped the frying pan — but did not drop the knife.
- The second officer immediately broadcast that he had been involved in a shooting, and requested medical assistance for Mr. Estrada’s injuries.
- Two additional Tenderloin Station patrol officers, Officers 3 and 4, arrived on scene as the first and second officers engaged Mr. Estrada. The third officer was equipped with another less-lethal weapon, a 40-millimeter Extended Range Impact Weapon. This weapon deploys less-lethal foam baton projectiles. The fourth officer was equipped with his department-issued firearm.
- Mr. Estrada, while lying on the sidewalk and holding the knife in his right hand, retrieved the frying pan, and attempted to stand up. Officers ordered Mr. Estrada several more times to drop the knife and to stay down on the ground. Mr. Estrada did not comply, and continued attempting to stand while saying, “No, f*** you!”
- The first and third officers deployed their respective ERIW’s at Mr. Estrada as he was rising to his feet. The less-lethal projectiles again proved ineffective, as Mr. Estrada still did not drop the knife or the frying pan, and succeeded in standing upright. The fourth officer then discharged his firearm at Mr. Estrada. Mr. Estrada again fell to the sidewalk — but again did not drop the knife.
- The fourth officer immediately broadcast that he had been involved in the shooting; that he and other officers were giving the suspect verbal commands; but that the suspect was non-compliant.
- Officers continued giving multiple commands to Mr. Estrada to drop the knife and to stay down. Mr. Estrada, however, did not comply and rose to his knees, still holding the knife in his right hand and the frying pan in his left hand. Officers deployed additional less-lethal “Super Sock” bean bag projectiles and foam baton projectiles at Mr. Estrada, but these continued to be ineffective.
- As Mr. Estrada was on his knees and not complying with multiple orders to drop the knife, officers deployed department-issued Sabre Red OC (a brand of pepper spray) at Mr. Estrada. Mr. Estrada did not drop the knife or frying pan.
- Mr. Estrada, still kneeling, dropped the frying pan and hunched over while still clutching the knife in his right hand. Officers continued giving him commands to drop the knife. Officers then utilized a patrol vehicle and positioned it between them and Mr. Estrada. As officers were positioning the patrol vehicle, Mr. Estrada straightened his upper body and again raised the knife to his head and shoulder level. An additional less-lethal projectile was deployed at Mr. Estrada, which was ineffective as he still did not drop the knife.
- Mr. Estrada then laid down on his left side while he clutched the knife in his right hand, which he periodically brought to his head and shoulder level. Officers continued giving Mr. Estrada commands to drop the knife. An additional less-lethal foam baton projectile was deployed at Mr. Estrada, but he did not drop the knife.
- A San Francisco Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant, who was on duty nearby at the time, heard the incident on his radio. He and another Sheriff’s Department deputy responded to the scene.
- Once on scene, the SFSD Lieutenant and SFPD officers assembled a team to approach Mr. Estrada from the rear, from westbound Market Street on the sidewalk. An SFPD supervisor authorized the SFSD Lieutenant to use his Taser.
- One officer was designated to give Mr. Estrada commands. The officer announced to all personnel on scene that the Sheriff’s Lieutenant was in possession of a Taser. Officers equipped with ballistic shields, ERIW’s, and firearms — together with the Sheriff’s Lieutenant equipped with a Taser — approached Mr. Estrada, whose back was facing them. Mr. Estrada was laying on his left side and clutching the knife in his right hand.
- At 5:20 pm. the Sheriff’s Lieutenant deployed the Taser at Mr. Estrada, who then dropped the knife. This allowed SFPD officers to restrain Mr. Estrada and provide him first aid. Officers placed two tourniquets and occlusive dressing on Mr. Estrada and were relieved by San Francisco Fire Department medics.
- It was determined that Mr. Estrada was struck by gunfire and less-lethal projectiles.
- Mr. Estrada was provided medical aid at the scene and transported to a local hospital.
- He was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
- Evidence was located at the arson and officer-involved shooting scenes.
- Evidence recovered included the suspect’s knife, frying pan, and screwdriver.
- Evidence recovered included five (5) bullet casings and eleven (11) less lethal projectiles
- Video was recovered from multiple sources, including:
o Body-worn cameras
o Privately owned surveillance cameras
o Smart Phones
o Muni video
o Additional video is being sought by investigators
- Independent witnesses to the arson and Officer-involved Shooting were located and have been interviewed.
- Additional witnesses are being sought by investigators.
- Antonio Estrada
- DOB: 5/28/1994
- Mr. Estrada was arrested for the following violations:
o 245(c) PC – Assault with A Deadly Weapon
o 245(c) PC – Assault with a Deadly Weapon
o 417(a)(1) PC – Exhibition of a Deadly Weapon
o 148(a)(1) PC – Resist, Delay, Obstruct a Peace Officer
o 451(b) PC – Arson of a Structure
o 453(a) PC – Possess Flammable Substance with Intent to Set Fire to Any Structure
The members involved in this officer-involved shooting are:
- Officer Joseph Toomey #1930
- Officer Ryan Thomson #1186
In accordance with department policy, all members involved in an OIS are immediately placed on paid administrative leave.
- The Independent Investigations Bureau (IIB) of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation of the officer-involved shooting.
- The San Francisco Police Department Investigative Services Detail is conducting an investigation of crimes ancillary to the officer-involved shooting.
- The SFPD Internal Affairs Division is conducting an administrative investigation.
- The Department of Police Accountability is conducting an administrative investigation.
- The San Francisco Fire Department – San Francisco Police Department Arson Task Force is investigating the arson on the 400 block of Ellis Street.
To access the notes utilized by Chief Scott during the Town Hall presentation please click here
To access the video to the virtual town hall meeting please click the following link:
Photos presented in the town hall meeting accompany this news release.