A man fatally shot by San Francisco police after he allegedly tried to run them over near Buena Vista Park on Tuesday evening is believed to be the “Gen X Bandit” suspected of two bank robberies in Southern California last month, an FBI spokeswoman said today.
Joshua Smith, 25, was identified by the San Francisco medical examiner’s office today as the man who was shot and killed by police at about 5:40 p.m. Tuesday in the first block of Buena Vista Avenue East, between Haight Street and Duboce Avenue. Officers had gone to the area after being notified by the FBI that a stolen vehicle that was allegedly involved in two bank robberies in Irvine was tracked via GPS to San Francisco.
When the officers tried to pull over the vehicle and arrest the man, he allegedly attempted to run them over with the car. The officers, fearing for their safety, opened fire on the man, striking him, police said. The man, later identified as Smith, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and died sometime before 7:45 p.m., police said.
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller confirmed today that Smith is believed to be the “Gen X Bandit,” who got the name after wearing a beanie and a flannel shirt while allegedly robbing the two banks in Irvine on May 17. The robberies occurred about 30 minutes apart at a Chase bank and a Comerica bank. No weapon was seen and no injuries were reported in either robbery, Irvine police Lt. Julia Engen said.
Shortly after the robberies, Orange County sheriff’s deputies spotted a car at a gas station that matched the description of the one used in the robberies — a gray two-door BMW 3 Series with dealer plates, sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said. When the deputies tried to detain the driver, he took off at speeds as high as 110 mph, and the pursuit was dropped for safety reasons, Amormino said.
San Francisco police Sgt. Mike Andraychak said today that the vehicle involved in Tuesday night’s confrontation with police matched that description. The officers who were involved in the shooting have been put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting, which is standard department procedure.
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