Man shot in head at San Francisco parole office, suspect flees

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A man was shot and critically injured in a California state parole office Monday afternoon in San Francisco. 

It happened at South Van Ness Avenue and 13th Street, in a large complex of offices known as CitiCenter. 

Just before 4 p.m., one man opened fire in a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation lobby. 

"It was a CDC facility, but no CDC personnel were involved in the incident", SFPD Officer Joseph Tomlinson told KTVU. 

"Witnesses are stating the suspect walked up behind him and fired." 

Police say the victim suffered a life-threatening gunshot wound to his upper neck, a shot that came without warning. 

The gunman then escaped in a white vehicle, driving away on 13th Street.

For several hours the security gate to the parking lot was taped off by police, and inaccessible as evidence was gathered. 

The building occupies most of the block between Van Ness and Mission, and it houses offices, a medical clinic, the California Conservation Corp, and the CDC parole office. 

Unsure how wide the threat was, arriving officers locked down some tenants, including a homeless service center on the ground floor.  

"They came and knocked on the door and told us not to let anyone come in or out of the building for about four hours," said a shelter staffer who gave her name as Miss Vee.

The Lyon-Martin medical office next to the parole office was evacuated. 

"The doctor was getting ready to administer a shot," said patient Laura Jones. "She had the alcohol, the Band-Aid out, and all of a sudden, all of us, the doctors, staff, everyone, we had to leave."

SFPD says it may soon release security system images of the gunman. 

"We have several witnesses and we're looking at surveillance footage, for any evidence to bring this guy to justice," said Ofc. Tomlinson. 

Police haven't said if the victim is a parolee or free on bail, or was in the building for other reasons. 

It's also unclear how long he'd been in the building before he was ambushed.  

"He was standing in the lobby," said Ofc. Tomlinson,"and he didn't know the shot was coming, when the suspect came up from behind and shot him."