Standoff with suicidal suspect ends peacefully in San Francisco

- A standoff between police and man who officers believed was armed, ended peacefully in San Francisco Saturday night.  The six-hour standoff shut down Civic Center Plaza and city hall from about noon to 6 p.m. as negotiators talked to the suspect. 

Investigators said the man called police at about noon to say that he had a gun and was at Civic Center Plaza wanting to harm himself as well as police officers.  Police responded immediately with SWAT officers, surrounding the area, and closing off nearby roads to traffic.

The suspect, a man in his forties from San Francisco, finally surrendered and turned over what was determined to be an Airsoft gun, or a replica gun that shoots compressed air.  He was taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation.   

Police credited patience and an approach to create “time and distance” between officers and the suspect for the positive outcome.

“When we have the opportunity to create that distance then we can create that time, and when we have that time we have time to work with this individual and get them the help they need,” Officer Carlos Manfredi of the SFPD explained.

Police cited two other recent shootings in San Francisco where they used the same tactic and had positive outcomes.

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