San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon said today that it appears officers who fatally shot a stabbing suspect in the city’s Portola neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon acted lawfully.
The 46-year-old man, identified by the medical examiner’s office today as Vinh Bui, was shot by officers who were responding to a 3:51 p.m. report of a stabbing at a home in the 600 block of Bacon Street, police said.
The officers had entered the home and found a 15-year-old girl suffering from a superficial stab wound, Gascon said.
The girl told officers the man who stabbed her was in the back of the home, and they went and made contact with Bui, who allegedly had a scalpel or similar object in his hand, Gascon said.
The officers ordered him to drop the weapon, and when he allegedly moved toward the officers to try to assault them, they opened fire, he said.
Bui, a San Francisco resident, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.
The girl who was stabbed was only “lightly injured” by the stabbing and was taken to a hospital to be treated, police said.
Investigators have not established a motive for the stabbing. The victim and suspect knew each other, but Gascon said he doesn’t think they were family members.
Bui had at least a 10-year history of mental illness, Gascon said.
There were several teenagers in the home who were “making a lot of noise,” and Bui was known to become aggravated by excessive noise, Gascon said.
Bui spoke English fluently, so there was no communication problem between him and the officers, according to Gascon.
The officers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting.
Asked at today’s news conference if there was anything else the officers could have done to prevent the shooting, Gascon mentioned Tasers, saying the stun guns are among a number of tools that “many agencies have that we don’t have.”
In March, the Police Commission shot down a proposal by Gascon to explore the idea of equipping San Francisco police officers with Taser guns.
Gascon is holding a community meeting tonight with neighborhood residents who may want to discuss the shooting.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, located at 465 Woolsey St.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News