Emotions ran high Thursday evening at Balboa High School as the San Francisco Police Department held a town hall to release details of the March 21 shootout at an Excelsior district barbershop that left 21-year-old Jehad Eid dead and several others injured, including an officer.
The SFPD has not yet identified the officers involved in the shooting, but Chief Bill Scott said that information will be released within 10 days. Body camera footage from two officers and a dashboard camera video from a witness vehicle were shown for the crowd.
Capt. Valerie Matthews, of the SFPD Major Crimes Unit, said officers responded to a 911 call — purportedly from one of Eid’s family members — reporting a man in front of a residence with a gun on the 200 block of Amazon Avenue. Dispatchers advised the responding officers that Eid was threatening his family, had flashed a gun from under his jacket, and tried to break into the garage of their house. Upon arriving, witnesses said Eid was at the Amazon Barbershop, one block away.
At the barbershop, Matthews said one uniformed and one plainclothes officer walked inside. As they entered, Eid was sitting in a barber chair, stood up, and fired. The officers returned fire. One officer was shot in the leg, and four other people in the barbershop were struck or grazed by gunfire. All were transported to San Francisco General Hospital. Eid died of his wounds, but all the others have since been released. It was not determined at this town hall who shot the bystanders.
The first bodycam video released, labeled “Officer 1,” is from the uniformed officer. In it, he and the plainclothes officer can be seen entering the barbershop, approaching Eid in the back corner, and then almost immediately leaping to the ground as the gunfight erupts. Officer 1 is seen firing multiple times and reloading his gun.
“I’ve got kids here!” someone shouts in the background. “There’s a kid in that chair!”
“Are you hurt? Are you hit?” a fellow officer asks Officer 1 after the gunfire stops. “I’m hit,” he responds, and crawls to exit the building.
The second bodycam video, labeled “Officer 2,” begins outside the barbershop, before the shootout. A man can be seen being placed in handcuffs and questioned. His face has been blurred because the SFPD says he was not involved in the incident, but at the town hall, the man identified himself as Chad Ayesh, one of the barbers at Amazon. “You guys got me confused with someone else,” he tells the officers on the video.
In the background, Officer 1 and the plainclothes officer can be seen entering the barbershop. Seconds later, dozens of gunshots shots erupt and people on the sidewalk scatter.
Matthews said Eid fired approximately nine rounds, and the two officers fired approximately 26 rounds. The medical examiner’s preliminary report indicated Eid was struck about 18 times.
“God damn it!” someone shouts. “Cover, cover, cover! Get down, Get down!”
Officer 2 approaches the barbershop entrance, shouting at someone crouched on a sofa near the entrance to leave. “Get out, get out now! Get the fuck out!” he says, pulling their arm and guiding them to the door.
Children can be seen running through the barbershop towards the exit. One child appears to have been hiding behind the barber chair in which Eid was sitting, and runs away.
The crowd of perhaps 150 was also shown a still image from Officer 1’s bodycam, in which Eid can be seen pointing what appears to be a gun at officers. Pictures of a 40-caliber Glock handgun recovered at the scene were also released.
After the footage was shown, a member of Eid’s family read from a prepared statement.
“We, the Eid family, have decided the best response to this horrific incident is an open letter to the public,” he said. He offered their apologies “to the officers who were injured in the line of duty. We would also like to apologize to the owner of Amazon Barbershop, the staff, victims, and clients for the actions of Jehad disturbing the peace.”
“We understand the resulting consequences of Jehad’s actions and stand by the officers who made the decision to use lethal force. Although in our eyes he was family, we will always love him and remember this devastating horrific incident,” he said.
He also apologized to law-abiding gun owners for “adding fuel to an already polarized political climate,” and that they “never wanted to be another statistic, persuasion tactic, or reason for taking away your Second Amendment rights.”
But, after taking his seat, another member of the Eid family stood up and confronted him, angrily pointing at him. “You don’t speak in my name,” he said.
Lara Kiswani, executive director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, also said she spoke for the family.
“As you can see, this is a tragic incident that has really torn apart the family. There are multiple perspectives in the room, and the Eid family does not stand united in apologizing to the officers for what took place,” she said, to applause from the crowd.
“We have a lot of questions here still unanswered, and want to remind you and everyone that Jehad’s murder was not an isolated incident. Once again, a call to 911 resulted in a loved one being murdered by police,” she said. “The family of Jehad will be issuing a public statement after tonight, and they will be calling for their own town hall and invite community members to stand with them alongside others who have also lost loved ones at the hands of SFPD.”
“Jehad did not have to die that evening.”
Speakers expressed a diverse range of views about the police’s involvement in the community. Some called on SFPD to step up their presence in the neighborhood. “Time and time again we have requested foot patrols at that intersection, Mission and Geneva,” one man said.
“We do not need you guys to do more foot patrols,” said Tomas Valverde, a 27 year-old Excelsior resident. “We’ve got to talk with each other, work with each other, because the result every time we call them is a black or brown person being murdered in our city. Obviously, this is not working.”