A carjacking suspect who was killed after crashing in San Francisco’s Financial District and then turning a gun on officers after a high-speed chase through three counties last week has been identified, according to the medical examiner’s office. Richmond resident Giovany Contreras Sandoval, 34, died after six San Francisco police officers fired 32 times at him early on the morning of Sept. 25, police Chief Greg Suhr said following the shooting.
At a community meeting to release information about the shooting, Suhr said the suspect had prior convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, brandishing a firearm and narcotics possession. Contreras Sandoval first came to the attention of Richmond police when a woman reported that a man had tried to kidnap her as she was driving to work in her white Cadillac Escalade at 4:55 a.m. on Sept. 25, Suhr said. She fled the car and the suspect drove away onto Interstate Highway 580 with California Highway Patrol officers in pursuit, Suhr said.
The CHP officers pursued Contreras Sandoval across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, onto southbound U.S. Highway 101 and then over the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco police joined the pursuit as Contreras Sandoval drove onto city streets until officers lost sight of the Escalade near Bush and Taylor streets. Minutes later at 5:54 a.m., police received reports of a crash involving several vehicles nearby, including a white Escalade that had tipped onto its side, police said. Witnesses reported hearing a “loud bang” and Suhr said that Contreras Sandoval fired a single shot from a six-shot revolver from inside the Escalade.
A man who had approached Contreras Sandoval to help after the crash suffered a superficial wound to his chest. Suhr said it was not clear if a bullet had struck him. The man was close enough to the suspect to taste gunpowder, Suhr said, but the bullet traveled through the roof of the SUV and struck an 11th-story window of a nearby building. Officers arrived quickly on foot and while waiting for a less-lethal beanbag shotgun weapon to help subdue the suspect, Contreras Sandoval turned his gun at the officers, prompting six of them to open fire.
The officers who opened fire were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol following an officer-involved shooting. The case is being investigated by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the city’s Office of Citizens Complaints and the Police Department’s homicide and internal affairs units.
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