A person suspected of trying to rob a man of his bicycle while armed with a long-blade kitchen knife was fatally shot by plainclothes San Francisco police officers late Thursday night, police say.
Two plainclothes officers spotted the 20-something suspect, who they said was armed with a knife, about 9:45 p.m. near 24th and Folsom streets, and ordered the man to drop the knife, police said. They just happened to be in the area, according to Police Chief Greg Suhr, and spotted the suspect standing with the long knife.
The officers told the man to drop it, Suhr said, and "he refused." Suhr said at least eight witnesses have corroborated that.
Both officers fired at the man between four to six times, Suhr said. Police found six bullet casings on the ground. The suspect died at the scene.
Suhr said the officers "fired upon the suspect" only to defend themselves.
Police later learned the suspect had been trying to steal a man's bicycle. And the victim thanked police. Suhr said the man told a police captain he saved his life.
NBC Bay Area's Robbie Beasom contributed to this report.