SFPD officer shoots at man who rammed squad car

March 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
There was terror on the streets of San Francisco Friday morning involving a smashed taxi windshield, shots fired, a chase, and finally a suspect in custody. The terrified taxi driver says the rampage started with a man jumping on his cab's windshield in an upscale neighborhood around 4 a.m., then it escalated all over the city.

Peter Russell, 25, of San Francisco, was booked into county jail on suspicion of carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer and driving under the influence after his arrest Friday morning.

The shooting happened at Jackson and Spruce Streets and made Presidio Heights -- one of San Francisco's most affluent neighborhoods -- the scene of a crime. Police say it happened after a carjacking suspect tried to ram them. Russell climbed on top of the cab and began jumping up and down, breaking the windshield and terrifying the driver.

"The driver, I was told, was terrified, fled from the cab. The suspect then entered the cab and drove away," said SFPD Deputy Chief David Shinn. However, the cab had a GPS device inside which police used to track the suspect to Presidio Heights where officers tried to stop the cab by blocking the street with their patrol cars.

"And that's when the driver, literally, drove at the officers. Officer just reacted by trying to get out of the way of the car and then defended himself," Shinn said. Multiple rounds were fired into the taxi but Russell was not hit. Police say he kept driving but again, GPS led police to Bay Street where the suspect was found and arrested.

Residents in quiet, upscale Presidio Heights couldn't believe it all happened in their neighborhood where the sound of gunfire is very rare.

"On Jackson Street, on a Friday morning? I think we're all surprised," Jean MacDermott said.

"Crazy, it's the first time I've experienced something like this. I'm just going to drop off my kids dropping my kids. And then this kind of neighborhood, I mean, it's highly unlikely," Layle Gerra told ABC7 News.

Police say it's amazing that no one was hurt during the incident.


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