Family of man killed by SF police says he carried Taser not gun

A relative of the man who was fatally shot by police in a San Francisco park says he was carrying a taser and not a gun.
March 23, 2014 11:46:48 AM PDT
The investigation continues into the shooting death of a San Francisco man by police. More witnesses are coming forward, claiming to have felt threatened by the man moments before the shooting.

"I didn't like the fact the guy had a gun, but he wasn't threatening to me. He seemed like a guy just eating a burrito," Bernal Heights resident Robin Bullard said.

But some of Bullard's neighbors did feel threatened and called police when they saw the armed man who has been identified as 28-year-old Alejandro Nieto.

A family member, who did not want to be identified, told ABC7 News Nieto was mentally ill and was carrying a Taser and not a handgun.

Deputy Chief Lyn Tomioka says when officers arrived at the scene and approached the man, he raised his weapon at them.

"It does appear he drew that weapon and officers responded and shot him," Tomioka said.

"We heard like probably five seconds of gunfire," Bernal Heights resident Noah Tsutsui said. "Really erratic pop pop pop pop pop. Probably from multiple weapons."

Tsutsui heard about a dozen shots. He lives a block away from the park.

Other nearby residents say they heard as many as 16 gunshots go off.

But those who come to Bernal Heights Park regularly still can't believe the level of violence that erupted Friday night.

"It's quite scary that someone's carrying a gun in the park and the neighborhood that we live and that he was shot and killed," Bernal Heights resident Matt Kovinski said.

"I come up here with my 8-week-old daughter whenever I'm here and it's definitely scary," one woman said.

To try to ease fears, Police Chief Greg Suhr plans to hold a community town hall meeting next week to talk about the shooting.

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