The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

An armed man was shot and killed by police in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights Park on Friday night, authorities said.

Officers responding to calls about a man with a gun approached him on a paved pedestrian path on the north slope of the park about 7:10 p.m., said police Deputy Chief Lyn Tomioka.

The man appeared to draw his gun as the officers approached, Tomioka said. The officers, fearing for their lives, opened fire.

The man was declared dead at the scene. READ MORE.

Bernalwood, a site that reports from the neighborhood, also has some on-the-ground reporting and some photos.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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  1. @John. Who and what are you!? I’m a native San Franciscan; a black man; and sixty years old. Too many like you have come here and ruined this city. As disgusting as I find you to be, I can’t fret about your kind. I’ve lived long enough to witness that karma is real, and you will reap yours. Your soulless ignorance, will bite you back one day.

      1. You don’t belong here John. You don’t understand (where you are like the rest of the techie transplants)
        this is a city since the GOLD RUSH that is LIVE & LET LIVE- the new ” tech immigrants” have NO TOLERANCE of the inhabitants of this city and NO UNDERSTANDING of where they moved to.
        The cops are OUT OF CONTROL!

        1. LOL, shroudwoman, if this is a “live and let live” city then you should practice that towards tech workers and new arrivals.

          I called Ronald out on his gratuitous introduction of race here. Perhaps I should have practiced “live and let live” towards him too but then his playing of a race card and statements of intolerance weren’t practicing “live and let live” either.

          1. Hmmm have you ever been racially profiled? Stopped by the police for ‘no reason’?

            Or maybe the reverse, you called in to report suspicious behavior with your hindbrain muttering ”dangerous color”?

            People of color should be proud and respected for surviving in this country … Whites have it way to easy and their entitlement complaints are almost always laughable third world problems. Kind of like you …

          2. B2TB, do you mean in the sense that some posters here “profile” (i.e. stereotype) tech workers, realtors, bankers, conservatives, landlords etc?

            Then yes.

            If you want to debate what meaningful correlations exist in our society between criminal behavior and markers like race, gender and age, then I feel sure that would be a conversation we could have.

            Do I think that there are no correlations like that? No. Do i think that LE probably draw on their experience of such correlations in real life? Yes, I believe that profiling is an established and respected LE practice


  2. The “allegedly armed man,” Alex, was my cousin and he certainly did NOT deserve to be taken from this world in this way. He was NOT a bad guy at all, quite the opposite actually. He was a very good person and cared about steering troubled youth away from gangs and violence. He wanted to make the community better. He was the nicest person you’d ever meet and always smiling. He did carry a TASER, for protection in dangerous areas is my guess. He would NEVER hurt anyone. The police are lying and they’ll probably get away with it. It’s a sad world we live in today where people jump to conclusions about others – you don’t always see what you think you see. Alex you will be missed greatly, rest in peace primo. This video shows Alex and his good friend telling other latinos that they can be more than they think and that just because they’re brown doesn’t mean that can’t get an education and succeed in life.

      1. Jose- ISo so sorry for your loss of your cousin. Blessings to your family. If Alex was Buddhist then no matter the circumstances this was his Karma and his time . NOT that he deserved it – it was just his time (or it wouldn’t have happened.) This town is undergoing a sad change and your dear cousin is a symtom of 2 different viewpoints clashing into one another. The “NEW RESIDENTS” are the exact opposite of what SF is all about – LIVE & LET LIVE! They have money and are taking over this town and people like your cousin are caught in the crossfire of this change. Im devastated by the change like everyone else.

    1. An unfortunate situation, and there is probably little debate whether this man who was killed was a good person or not, only those who knew him well enough can make that statement. However, the fact remains: you have to be nuts, suicidal or an idiot to point any weapon at anyone, much less an officer and not expect a negative outcome from your actions. If this person had mental issues, where was his family? If he had mental issues, should he have been carrying any weapon? When someone points a gun at you, real or not, I wouldn’t call defending yourself “jumping to conclusions” when you only have a split second to react in an attempt to save your life. The situation needs to be looked at pragmatically, not emotionally.

    1. As we learned with the Oscar Grant thing, a taser looks a lot like a gun, and so easy to mistake for one.

      Why did the dead guy have either? And why was someone who “behaves strangely” allowed to have either?

      1. Oh give it a break who is going to stop him. You can’t stop a legal adult from doing what they want.

        1. The dead guy was a “legal adult”? As opposed to being an illegal adult? WTF does that mean?

          And yes, there are all kinds of circumstances in which a “legal adult” (whatever that means) cannot do what they want. In fact, the sole purpose of laws are to stop people doing what they want.

          1. LOLOL And who is going to sit outside his door and watch what he take out of his house. By using the term “legal” I meant he is legally protected and has rights like everyone else to go wherever he wants. PLEASE go back to wherever you came from, this city does not need any more people like you

          2. Yo, sister, whatever rights you think this dead guy has (or rather, had) they sure as hell do not include threatening people in the community and pulling a weapon on cops.

            You have a very strange idea of what rights are, and they typically do not depend on which city I am from, or which city you are from.

          3. “the sole purpose of laws are to stop people doing what they want”

            So, in your mind the “purpose of laws” excludes police officers? Police officers are above the law, in your opinion? If I shot someone, and were going to use self-defense as a legal argument in court, I would need to prove that I believed my life was in imminent danger. “Appearance of drawing” a weapon against more than one cop, does not prove imminent danger for the cops. None of the details released assert that conclusion. Even if he HAD drawn the gun, was it pointed at the police? What if he were going to attempt suicide? Did he give any verbal indication that he was threatening the police? What if it was not a gun at all? (as has been revealed). Too many WHAT IFS means not enough PROBABLE CAUSE. If you’re willing to commit murder on a hunch, I can only logically conclude that you have no value for human life other than your own. Try going to law school before you talk about things you don’t have any knowledge of, you ignorant cop lover.

          4. Naive. If you move to pull out something that looks like a gun when confronted with a cop, you will get shot.

            Who doesn’t know and understand that?

          5. You lack of information on the history of police here clearly shows you are not from here. There

          6. I have lived in SF a long time, but it’s irrelevant, since I do not know of any place where the cops won’t shoot if you pull a gun on them.

          7. Wherever you live, the fact remains that you choose to blame someone who is dead and can’t defend themselves or tell their side of the story.

            The cops who shot him took away any hope for understanding what really happened. That is their fault, 100%.

            You say you believe in the “law” yet you are willing to concede that when cops make mistakes (they are human beings) they shouldn’t be penalized according to the same laws that they are supposed to enforce.

            Go ahead, blame the “dead guy” – he can’t hurt you. The cops still can.

          8. Now you claim he “could not defend himself”. Earlier the claim was that he had a taser. Which is it?

            He wasn’t defending himself. He was threatening people, according to the reports. That’s why the cops were there in the first place.

            I haven’t seen a shred of evidence that this was a bad shoot. You’re just making shit up because you hate cops.

            You and he are the problem.

          9. Haha I see why you’re confused…you’re confusing “defense” as a physical act and “defense” in the legal context as an argument in a court of law.

            Like I said, law school. Then we’ll talk.

          10. You seem determined to believe that the dead guy was 100% innocent and the cops just randomly shot him for no reason.

            If that is what you need to believe to feed your prejudice, then knock yourself out.

        2. was another mentally ill person killed the other day in Pacifica his name was Errol Chang. The police here are not properly trained to handle mentally ill people, in fact the debacle on 25th and Florida that they are still trying to cover up shows lack of training in general. I am entitled to my opinion, you can be the troll you are and go off on a tangent, you will be doing it alone. I’m done with your stupid ass

      2. Only a poorly trained, terrified and stupid BART police office could mistake a taser for his pistol. Or not, and make up a story to excuse his murdering.

        One never knows how life can turn out. A parent who expresses such disdain for someone with mental illness may later find out that such illness could affect their child. May they hope that the police might approach a future situation with their loved one in a different manner than how they dealt with Nieto, Idris Stelly and so many others whose lives ended violently and prematurely.

        Suck it, John.

        1. SF Boy, by any chance are you also SF Girl here? Seems unlikely that two people would share the same bizarre opinion.

          Anyway, SF Girl’s argument was that the cops could have mistaken a taser for a gun and I was agreeing with her by pointing out that it’s happened before.

          If you want to lament the demise of a guy with 12 felony convictions then I can’t help you with that and you’re on your own.

          1. SF Boy and I are not the same person. I do want you to clarify that you are not referring to Alex Nieto when you talk about 12 felonies. I am not sure who you are talking about but it is not Alex

          2. SF boy brought up Oscar Grant, which is why I addressed that case as well.

            The connection is that both cases may have involved mistaking a taser for a handgun.

          3. And I NEVER said anything about mistaking a taser for a gun you are getting things very confused John. Once again this shows your lack of mental instability, I am done

          4. So, Girl, anyone who disagrees with you must have “mental issues”?

            That itself is a mental issue.

            Anyway there was a report that the BG was carry a taser and that LE might have mistook that for a gun.

            No confusion here at all.

    2. Thanks for sharing this Dan, I knew about the mental illness but not about the taser. He was actually a very nice, personable guy whose mental illness got the best of him.

      1. Here are the key points from that link:

        “Deputy Chief Lyn Tomioka says when officers arrived at the scene and approached the man, he raised his weapon at them.

        “It does appear he drew that weapon and officers responded and shot him,” Tomioka said.”

        1. NOt quite sure what your point was in posting this again. But I will state AGAIN that Alex was not a monster, he was a nice kid. Instead of being such a troll you may want to donate your time, and you seem to have a lot of it to the National Association of Mental Illness, in other words do something positive and stop being a troll!

          1. Hey, maybe Alex was kind to animals and helped old ladies cross the street.

            That doesn’t give him a pass to threaten cops. Or anyone else.

          2. You are not getting the real reason I responded to you in the first place. I reacted to you using the words “bad guy” which Alex was not. He was mentally ill and had his own demons but we ALL do. To be honest with you John, your reactions and words in this post make me wonder about your mental stability and the pot should never call the kettle black

          3. “Bad Guy” is a standard term used in law enforcement, often abbreviated to “BG”.

            It doesn’t mean that the guy cannot have civilized aspects and i’m sure many villains love their mother.

            Either way, what matters is his behavior on this day, in that situation, and what motivated him.

  3. I have lived here all of my life, I know what’s up with the police here and by the way, where are you from. I have lost too many young people that I knew, including Alex in this manner and I will not believe for a minute that he drew his gun against anyone. He had some issues and was behaving strangely but he had threatened nobody before the cops came and behaving in an odd way is not a death sentence, or at least it should not be. Alex was not a violent person and I am taking the time to respond to you in respect of his memory.I have a long list of young men I have known, brown and black that have suffered the same fate. Look up the name Idriss Stelley and you get an inkling of what I have seen the police do in the past. If you want to call me anti cop than go ahead, at least I question instead of blindly believing what I am told

  4. Dem pussy ass cops always fear for their lives….fucking scary ass bitches. Trigger happy SFPD!!!!to protect & serve the wealthy & shoot the poor

      1. The “bad guy” has a name, it’s Alex Nieto. He worked as a security guard which explains the holstered gun but besides rather bizarre behavior in all of the accounts I have read he never threatened anyone or drew his gun at any time. He was born and raised in Bernal Heights and lived close to where he was killed, by police officers working out of the same precinct as the idiot that shot his fellow officer on 26th and Florida two weeks ago. Time to start taking a good hard look at the law enforcement here and stop chalking it up to “bad guys”

        1. Fast and loose with the facts there, SF Girl:

          1) You “have read he never threatened anyone or drew his gun at any time”.

          The article clearly states that “The man appeared to draw his gun as the officers approached, Tomioka said. The officers, fearing for their lives, opened fire.” So now you have read there was cause.

          2) “police officers working out of the same precinct as the idiot that shot his fellow officer on 26th and Florida two weeks ago.

          Except of course that there is no evidence that is what happened, and the investigation continues.

          IOW, you are totally biased against the police.

          1. You are being fast and loose with the facts.

            The article reads “appeared to draw.” There is no news report of an eyewitness who saw the gun drawn, only the police spokesperson using ambiguous, vague language.The crime scene technicians should have recovered all the shells so they know if Nieto fired any shots.

            However, unless the family or the public push hard, the police department won’t release the information if only the police fired their weapons.

            Which brings me to the incident of 26th and Florida, which was almost certainly friendly fire. If the police department had evidence that the suspect fired, they would release it immediately to clear up the suspicion that one cop shot another and would publicly announce charging the suspect with shooting at the police. They haven’t done either thing.

            The initial reports are almost always wrong, the cops will lie to protect themselves and deceive the public. When evidence corroborates their version, the police can’t release it soon enough or loudly enough. When the evidence contradicts their version, the investigation remains ongoing.

            Most recently, this scenario played out with the BART detective killing his partner, the SFPD officer shooting his partner and we should know soon enough if this killing on Bernal Hill was another example of police haste, overreaction, nervousness and poor training which leads to the use of deadly force to resolve a mental health emergency.

          2. It doesn’t matter if the BG fired or not. If he draws his gun then he poses an imminent threat and must be taken out.

            If there were no witnesses other than the cops and the BG, then we may never know what really happened. But what “appears” to a cop to be happening in a situation like this matters. It’s only necessary that the cop genuinely believed himself to be under an imminent threat for the take-out to be justified.

            What was the BG doing? We all walk by cops several times a day without arousing a response.

            AS for the 26th/Florida thing, we don’t know yet and you are speculating. What we do know is that the BG used a car as a deadly weapon regardless of whether he fired the gun we know he had, and he fled the scene, committing various other felonies.

            Where do your sympathies lies? With those criminal morons? Or with those who keep us safe from those BG’s.

          3. I want the truth. You are clearly prejudiced by referring to Nieto as a bad guy just because he was carrying a holstered weapon and acting strangely, neither of which are capital offenses.

            Because society grants police the power to use deadly force, the public must hold the police to the highest levels of accountability. Self regulation and evidence by public relations are way insufficient. That’s why they get away with brutal and criminal behavior, except in the rare occasions that overwhelming public evidence holds them accountable, like the theft/drug ring in the SRO’s, the attempted murder of Scott Olsen or the actual murder of Oscar Grant.

          4. He didn’t get shot for behaving strangely. He got shot for drawing his weapon, or at least threatening or menacing or pretending do.

            But yeah, maybe he is more a SG (stupid guy) than a BG. But either way if you act threatening in front of cops, you may not like the outcome. Particularly if you are openly carrying a firearm.

            Most people will have the reaction that I had. You’re clearly on an anti-cop crusade.

        2. The 2 shootings were in different precincts. 26th and Florida is Mission precinct. Bernal hill is Ingleside precinct.