The San Francisco Police Department Monday identified the officer who fatally shot a carjacking suspect earlier this month in the city’s Bayview neighborhood.
Officer Christopher Samayoa, who had been assigned to the Field Operations Bureau, shot at 42-year-old Keita O’Neil at least once on Dec. 1 near Fitzgerald Avenue and Griffith Street, according to police.
O’Neil, a San Francisco resident, was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center where he was ultimately pronounced dead.
On Thursday, police held a town hall where they played Samayoa’s body-worn camera footage to an emotional crowd. At the meeting, police also confirmed that Samayoa was relatively new to the job.
The Dec. 1 incident began around 10:30 a.m. when officers responded to a report of a robbery and carjacking on the 1800 block of 23rd Street. There, O’Neil allegedly assaulted a California State Lottery employee and stole their van, police said.
Another vehicle, described as a gold or tan SUV, was at the crime scene and police believe it was also involved in the robbery. The two vehicles then drove down the street together before splitting up.
One group of the officers stopped the SUV in the vicinity of Gilman Avenue and Ingalls Street. The officers then detained the four people in the SUV, according to police.
Other officers pursued the Lottery van, which was being driven by O’Neil, to the vicinity of Fitzgerald Avenue and Griffith Street.
There, O’Neil allegedly got out of the van while it was still running. As the van rolled down a hill, O’Neil ran towards the officers’ patrol car.
That’s when Samayoa, who was sitting in the passenger’s seat of the patrol car, shot at O’Neil through the car’s window.
Another officer who was outside of the patrol car at the time did not fire their weapon and, although they had a body-worn camera, it was not activated, police said.
According to police, the names of officers directly involved in officer-involved shootings are released within 10 days of the incident, as long as there are no credible threats to the officers.