On Capp Street Wednesday morning. Photo by Julian Mark

SFPD officers shot and killed a robbery suspect Tuesday night who appeared to be hiding in the trunk of a car on Capp Street.

Police later found a handgun in the trunk of the vehicle, according to police.

“We heard a bunch of gunshots,” said Seung Lee, 44, on Wednesday morning. “It was a lot at once and sounded like firecrackers. If I had to estimate, it was more than 10. My wife said she heard shouting, the police yelling ‘get on the ground!’”

Lee and his wife live nearby on Capp Street.

The incident began at 10:36 p.m. Tuesday, when two victims of an armed robbery flagged down officers patrolling the area at 20th and Capp streets. The victim gave the officers a description of the suspects, who were in a black Honda Civic.

Officers located the car on Capp Street between 21st and 22nd streets and ordered the suspects out of the car, according to police. The driver complied and was detained.

“The officers noticed the vehicle’s trunk ajar and saw a second suspect in the trunk,” the police wrote in a statement. “While attempting to detain the second suspect, an officer-involved shooting occurred.”

The officers administered medical aid after the shooting and called an ambulance, police said. “Unfortunately, despite life-saving efforts, the suspect was declared deceased on the scene,” the statement said.

Jeremy, another nearby resident who was leaving for work on Wednesday morning, said the gunfire lasted for 10 to 20 seconds.

A building manager of the apartments at 21st and Capp street said the bullets ricocheted and broke two of the windows in the building.

“It’s unfortunate that this is an incident that can happen on the streets,” she said.

A 24-year-old resident who lives on Capp Street between 21 and 22nd streets said that he heard more than 10 shots around 10:30 p.m. He also heard someone yelling in Spanish over a megaphone for around 10 minutes. During that time, he said, he heard the incident escalate.

“It’s really sad,” he said.”I know there’s a lot of activity on the block. “I had friends coming home from work, so I wanted to make sure they were OK.”

Residents of Capp Street have long complained about prostitution on the street. It’s unclear if this incident was related in any way.

On Wednesday morning, evidence markers were strewn on Capp Street close to 21st Street, and a CSI unit was doing a live scan of the area.

At the time of the incident, officers detained a third suspect, but it was unclear from the SFPD’s statement if the woman was in the trunk or in the car.

The two robbery victims were transported to Mission Station for interviews.

“This is an active and ongoing investigation in the early stages. Several separate investigations are being conducted by the SFPD Homicide Detail, the San Francisco District Attorneys’ Office Independent Investigation Bureau, the San Francisco Department of Police Accountability, the SFPD Internal Affairs Division and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” according to the SFPD’s statement.

We will update as we get more information.

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. Even though crime is high in this area it is surreal to watch how many bullets the officers fire to disable the suspect.
    After looking at the sound file in a simple audioprogram it seems to be more like 30+ shots beeing deployed.
    First aid after that? Not truly an option I guess. Sadly a thin line between killers and enforcers theese days.

  2. Why? Because prostitution is still illegal and the residents of the area suspect all crime in the area is related. Stop crying about “sex workers.” It’s an illegal activity.

  3. If it is, as you say “unclear” that prostitution had anything to do with this tragic incident, why even mention it in the article? What purpose does it serve, other than to imply that sex workers are in some way implicit in this crime? Sex workers are harassed and stigmatized enough in our society; why entangle them in an armed robbery and police shooting if there is no evidence of any involvement with prostitution?