A man who was shot by police in San Francisco’s Marina District last weekend was armed with a gun that was firing blanks and had just tried to rob people of cellphones after soliciting to buy them on Craigslist, police Chief Greg Suhr said today.
Suhr joined Supervisor Mark Farrell, who represents the Marina District, and other police officials to provide details about the shooting involving suspect Rommel Narvaez around 12:30 p.m. Sunday near Mallorca and Capra ways.
Narvaez, 19, had agreed to meet in the neighborhood with the victim and his sister, who traveled from the East Bay to sell two phones to him, Suhr said.
After meeting up, Narvaez “decided he was going to take the phones at gunpoint” and fired several times while also attacking the victim with the gun, causing a fractured skull and multiple lacerations, Suhr said.
The victim’s sister called police and when officers responded, they were pointed by witnesses toward Narvaez, who was hiding in bushes near Mallorca and Capra, Suhr said.
He was ordered to come out of the bushes but did not comply and brandished his gun, prompting four officers to shoot, striking him three times, Suhr said.
Narvaez was taken to the hospital and is now in stable condition. District attorney’s office spokesman Alex Bastian said he is expected to be arraigned Thursday on attempted robbery, assault and battery charges.
Meanwhile, the victim was driven by his sister to a hospital in Castro Valley and is cooperating with police, Suhr said.
Although police found the shots fired from Narvaez’s gun were blanks, they have not determined whether it had the capability to fire real bullets, the chief said.
“We’re fortunate that no one was more seriously injured,” he said.
Narvaez is awaiting trial in San Mateo County in December for a similar robbery scam involving Craigslist ads and cellphones, prosecutors in that county said.
Those robberies occurred on April 7 and 8 in Daly City, where instead of buying the phones, he robbed victims of cash at gunpoint.
Attendees at this evening’s town hall meeting about the officer-involved shooting were thankful of the quick police response, and Suhr thanked those who were willing to give statements about what they saw in the incident.
“We almost didn’t have enough people to take all the witness statements,” he said.
Farrell, who grew up in the Marina District, said a shooting like Sunday’s “doesn’t happen very often” and “is very concerning for the community.”
He said he plans to hold another town hall meeting with police, tentatively scheduled for Dec. 3, to discuss a recent uptick in crimes around the neighborhood.
Suhr said the four officers who shot at the suspect will be placed on administrative leave for 10 days, as is standard department procedure.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News