SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Police released a video on Wednesday of officers shooting a knife-wielding man who attacked them in a residential hotel.
Ajmal Amani, 41, was shot dead in the narrow hallway of the building on the South of Market Friday morning after threatening several people with a large kitchen knife. He was shot in the stomach and leg and died in the hospital.
Amani was a former Afghan US special forces interpreter who had been shot multiple times in more than five years of service and struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, his former attorney, case manager and real estate administrator told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Amani was charged with fatal assault in 2019 for allegedly slashing a city park ranger with a cutter who said he appeared to be in an “altered state of mind”.
Amani was ordered to undergo a mental distraction, which he completed this year while living in a city-rented room in the residential hotel.
Police were called to the hotel on Friday morning after a man yelled and screamed and had a knife. Amani’s case manager also called 911 to report a colleague said Amani was having “a really bad episode.”
On Wednesday, police released video and footage from hotel surveillance from officers’ body cameras. They show Amani holding the knife and gesturing with it, confronting two people, including someone who fends off him with a broom, and then walking past other people into a room.
When two police officers arrive, the man with the broom tells them that Amani threatened to kill him.
An officer tells the radio operator that they can hear Amani screaming.
According to the body camera video, the officers stay in the hallway and try to speak to Amani, who is in a room. Amani swears and tells them to leave him alone and an officer says, “Nobody wants to hurt you.”
Less than a minute later, Amani storms down the hall and is shot after an officer yells, “Stay there! Stay here!”
According to police, Amani was holding a knife with a 6-inch blade. He was shot four times with a handgun and three times with beanbag bullets.
When Amani was on the ground and still moving, more officers came. They waited several minutes to carefully approach him, then handcuffed him and used CPR and a tourniquet on him before the paramedics arrived.
At a town hall virtual meeting where the video was released, Police Chief Bill Scott said his department and prosecutors were investigating the shooting. Scott said he personally offered condolences to Amani’s family.
Scott Grant, an assistant public defender who represented Amani, said he was “utterly devastated” by his death.
Grant said Amani suffered “incredible trauma and violence” while serving in the US Forces.
“His tragic death is a failure of our systems of government here to support someone who risked their life to support this country,” Grant told KTVU-TV.
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