An unidentified man committed suicide in front of the Mission Dolores gift shop this morning, according to a witness and police.
At around 7 a.m., the chapel’s custodian, Raju Kumar, noticed that a man, whom he described as around 80 years old, was sleeping on top of the steps in front of the Mission’s gift shop.
A press release from the Archdiocese of San Francisco identified the person as a “homeless man” in his 40s or 50s.
“Get up, it’s about time,” Kumar recalls telling the man. He added that it is not unusual to see people passed out in front of the church early in the morning.
As the man got up, Kumar noticed that his wrist was bloody and asked him if he was OK. When Kumar saw a gun inside the man’s open umbrella, he stepped back and asked a passerby to call the police. At that moment, the man picked up the gun and pointed it at his head.
“Don’t do that! Don’t do that!,” Kumar recalls telling the man before he shot himself in the head. Police and other first responders arrived about 10 minutes later and took the body, Kumar said.
The suicide victim’s identity is unknown at this time, according to the press release from the Archdiocese. Officer Daryl Fong of the San Francisco Police Department confirmed that the incident is currently being investigated as a suicide.
The release goes on to state that a public mass will be held for the man and that the Archdiocese will make arrangements for his burial if necessary.
As for Kumar, he said he doesn’t know how he will forget the incident. He was working at the chapel this morning and said he will probably take some time off tomorrow.
(Note: Mission Loc@l typically does not report on suicides, but we made an exception with this case because it happened in a very public space, where many people could see the aftermath of the incident.)