One of the sadder realities of contemporary life is the fact that the phrase “active shooter” has become a common expression used to describe deranged people who go on shooting rampages in public places. Last night, a frightening active shooter incident in northwest Bernal Heights ended when the SFPD killed a gunman who had stormed the St. Luke’s hospital construction site.
Police officers fatally shot an armed man who climbed to the sixth floor of a construction site in San Francisco’s Mission District on Wednesday and aimed one of his two guns at nearby St. Luke’s Hospital, authorities said.
The man fired at least one round before being shot to death, but police did not say whether that shot was directed at the adjacent hospital. No one was hit, police said.
The man, who wore white coveralls and appeared to be in his late 20s, ascended to the sixth of seven floors of the incomplete building around 4:15 p.m. after robbing a Big 5 Sporting Goods store in San Bruno, a little more than 10 miles away, said San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr.
He said the man had committed the robbery with a handgun and emerged with a second firearm — one of the store’s shotguns — as well as ammunition shells.
The horror ended when the man was killed on the roof of a construction elevator on the northwest corner of the unfinished structure. The building, which is slated to become a 120-bed hospital, occupies land that was originally the Jose Cornelio Bernal homesite in the mid-1800s.
UPDATE: 12 November, 3:30 pm: The shooter killed on the scene in the St. Luke’s incident has been identified as Javier Lopez Garcia, a 25-year-old San Jose resident. SFGate reports:
Investigators said that Lopez Garcia had made statements in both San Bruno and San Francisco indicating he climbed to his deadly perch next to the Mission District hospital Wednesday with a death wish.
“I’m ready to die. Today will be the day I die,” Lopez Garcia said at the scene, according to officials.
Lopez Garcia is believed to have robbed the Big 5 Sporting Goods Wednesday and made statements to the clerks at the store indicating he was suicidal, according to police.
About 20 minutes after leaving the Big 5 in San Bruno, Lopez Garcia arrived at the St. Luke’s construction site. SFPD Chief Greg Suhr adds that it’s unknown why Lopez Garcia headed to St. Luke’s. “That’s the million-dollar question,” Suhr told SFGate.
PHOTO: Police approach the body of the shooter (wearing white overalls) at the St. Luke’s hospital construction site, Nov. 11, 2015. Photo via @CBS12