San Francisco

Shooting Leaves San Francisco Police Officer, Suspect in Critical Condition

The incident marks the third officer-involved shooting in a Bay Area city in a span of roughly 12 hours

A police officer and a male suspect were hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday following an "exchange of gunfire" in the Castro district of San Francisco, according to police.

The 41-year-old officer, who had been flagged down by a citizen just after midnight, started to investigate a suspicious vehicle near 18th and Diamond streets, according to police. Shots were then fired between the suspect and at least one officer.

The officer, a nine-year veteran, was taken to an area hospital with a gunshot wound. He has undergone surgery and is in critical, but stable condition, police said in a statement.

The suspect was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. His injuries are considered life-threatening, police said.

The investigation has revealed that the car deemed suspicious was a gray Chrysler sedan with paper dealership plates that had been reported stolen. A firearm, that police believe belonged to the suspect, was found at the crime scene. And homes in the area were riddled with bullet holes.

Police said two women and a man carjacked a super cab at gunpoint near the shooting scene, and they believe it is connected to the shooting.

Police found the cab abandoned on Oakwood in the Mission district, where dozens of police officers launched a massive search for the suspects later Wednesday.

Neighbors say officers searched backyards and rooftops in the area for hours.

The San Francisco Police Department's homicide unit and Internal Affairs Division, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Police Accountability are investigating the shooting.

Castro resident Pete Howells described hearing "a lot of shots" and noted that the the shooting was "not just your typical exchange."

The incident marked the third officer-involved shooting in a Bay Area city in under 12 hours. A stabbing suspect on Tuesday was killed after being shot by police in Sunnyvale. Hours later, Sonoma County sheriff's deputies shot a man who tried to run over a person in a stolen car.

It's also the second incident in two weeks to leave a San Francisco police officer critically injured. On Oct. 18, bicycle officer Elia Lewin-Tankel was run down by a van driven by a suspect wanted in a weapons investigation. Lewin-Tankel is still recovering in the hospital.

Wednesday morning's shooting was not the first instance of the Castro district being marred by violence on Halloween night. Nine people were shot in the neighborhood in 2006 after a fight broke out.

Anyone with information about the recent shooting is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department tip line at 415-575-4444. People can also text a tip to TIP411 and start the message with "SFPD."

NBC Bay Area's Laura Malpert and Jean Elle contributed to this report.

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