SAN FRANCISCO >> Officers shot and killed a man Thursday after he led them on a lengthy high-speed chase, crashed in downtown San Francisco and then fired a gun at good Samaritans who tried to help him, authorities said.
The chase through three counties and over two bridges ended with the wreck at a busy intersection in the financial district, where morning traffic was snarled while police investigated.
The incident began in the Contra Costa County city of Richmond shortly before 5 a.m., when the man allegedly carjacked a woman driving a white Cadillac Escalade.
California Highway Patrol pursued the suspect across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge into Marin County and then across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco, officials said.
The white SUV crashed around 6 a.m. at California and Battery streets, and the driver appeared to be stuck in the overturned vehicle, Police Chief Greg Suhr said.
When bystanders tried to help, the suspect fired at them, leaving one man with minor chest wounds, Suhr said.
Police shot at the suspect when he refused to drop his weapon and turned his gun toward the officers. The suspect, whose name hasn’t been released, died at the scene, Suhr said.
The police chief said the crash and shooting happened before most people started arriving for work in the busy financial district. "If this happens an hour later, this thing could have been way worse," Suhr said.