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San Francisco police kill man who aimed rifle at hospital

A man with several firearms who sparked panic near a hospital in San Francisco’s Mission District was shot and killed by police officers late Wednesday, less than an hour after police believe he robbed at gunpoint a Bay Area sports equipment store, authorities said.

The three police officers opened fire at the suspect after he pointed a rifle at the officers, according to a statement from the San Francisco Police Department.

The man, who was in his late 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene, and his identity has not been released.

Before police approached him, the suspect had been standing on an elevator at a construction site next to St. Luke’s Hospital and aiming a rifle toward the hospital, police sad in the statement.

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No officers or civilians were injured, police said.

It was not immediately clear whether the man fired at anyone, but the police department said officers heard shots being fired when they arrived at the scene.

Police said the man acted alone and that reports of a second gunman were not true.

During the investigation into the shooting, San Francisco police learned that the gunman matched the identity of the man who robbed at gunpoint a Big 5 Sporting Goods in San Bruno, according to the police department.

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A pistol and ammunition found with the suspect after he was shot dead were similar to the items reported stolen from the sporting goods store, police said.

After the gunman was spotted near the hospital, the facility was placed on lock down, according to NBC. Calls to the hospital seeking additional information were not immediately returned. 

Seamus James, a 33-year-old web developer who works in an office across the street from the hospital, told the Los Angeles Times that his co-workers heard what sounded like several gunshots around 4:30 p.m.

They tuned into a police scanner and immediately heard reports of an active shooter.

James and several of his colleagues then ran to the roof of the office building, where they saw at least three dozen police officers swarming a construction site adjacent to the hospital. The gunman was on top of a freight elevator on the construction site, James said, and he saw police throw at least two “flashbangs” in the man’s direction. 

The entire ordeal lasted about 45 minutes, James said.

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Jenna Bilotta said on Twitter that she was locked inside a doctor’s office because of a shooting in the area. The nurses, she said, warned her and others to stay away from the windows.

“They’re not letting anyone leave,” she said.

Tim Brennan said that he saw an officer with a machine gun running in front of his home.

“There’s someone with a gun on top of St Luke’s Hospital,” he tweeted.

Philipp Reichardt said on Twitter that he heard what he thought were gunshots.

“Gun man on roof of St Luke’s,” he said. “We’re stuck in the building and can hear the gun shots. Scary to be so close to a shooting.”

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT and @VeronicaRochaLA for breaking news

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