San Francisco police are searching for a gunman who shot and injured a police officer in the city's Mission District Saturday afternoon, according to police.
Officers were called to check out a malicious mischief call, possibly involving vandalism or graffiti, with a vehicle description after 3 p.m. in the area of Florida and 26th streets, authorities said.
Police found the matching car and pulled it over. An SFPD officer then got out of his car and was shot in the left shoulder, police and witnesses said.
"We heard five or six shots," witness Emily Green said. "They weren’t very strong. We initially thought they were from a BB gun, but within five minutes, we heard the police, police sirens."
Police said another officer saw the car backing up, and at that point, the officer opened fire, hitting the vehicle once as it took off from the scene.
San Francisco firefighters arrived and applied a tourniquet, and that, according to SFPD Police Chief Greg Suhr, may have saved the officer's life.
"Just keep this officer in your thoughts and prayers, and all the other cops around, because this could happen at any time."
The police officer involved in the shooting was in serious but stable condition, police said. The officer is out of surgery at San Francisco General Hospital, conscious and in good spirits, according to Suhr.
The 28-year-old officer is a six-year veteran of the force.
Police found the suspect’s car shortly after the shooting near Serramonte Mall in Daly City, and officers, including a SWAT team, were in that area searching for the suspect. Police said they have an idea of who that person might be.
"He had prior contacts in the area," SFPD Officer Gordon Shyy said. "There were certain residences we had made contact, and he is not in those residences."
After several hours, police were confident the suspect was no longer there, and they cleared the scene, taking the car as evidence
Police said they will continue their search for the suspect who should be considered armed and dangerous.