Two fatal officer-involved shootings have been found legally justified, the district attorney’s office announced today.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón declined to filed criminal charges against police officers in two fatal shootings.
The oldest shooting in the bunch dates back to Sept. 25, 2014 involved a car crash at California and Battery streets. Giovany Contreras-Sandoval stole white Cadillac Escalade earlier out of the owner’s Richmond home and led the chase to San Francisco.
One witness — who believed he had been shot at but was hit by shrapnel — told police who arrived that Contreras-Sandoval had a gun and fired at least one shot, the district attorney’s office says. After police told him to drop the gun, he raised it up, seemingly aiming toward a group of officers and civilians. six officers shot and killed him.
Six officers fired 35 rounds at Contreras-Sandoval, killing him. Gascón found the officers reasonably acted in self-defense and to defend others and determined it legally justified.
Later, the San Francisco medical examiner’s office found cocaine, methamphetamine, and hydrocodone in Contreras-Sandoval’s system along with 10 gunshot wounds.
The second fatal shooting was in response to multiple emergency calls of erratic behavior at Lakeshore Plaza on Oct. 14, 2016. After officers arrived, Nicholas McWherter pulled out a .22 caliber revolver and shot Officer Kevin Downs in the head, partially paralyzing him.
Police searched for McWherter, taking about an hour to find him before he fired multiple shots near Stern Grove Park. Officers fired back, injuring him and conveyed orders to drop the weapon.
Officers used bulletproof shields to arrest McWherter without additional gunfire. He died at San Francisco General Hospital two days later.
Gascón declined to filed charges, saying the officers faced imminent danger to themselves and others.