SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Attorney General’s Office announced Monday, May 23, that it will be investigating a shooting that involved a police officer and two unarmed civilians in the Mission Bay area on May 19.
Authorities were sent to a location right beneath a freeway overpass near Mariposa and Owens Streets at around 8 p.m. They received a call about a transient person beating another person with a tarp. In the report, it was described that the suspect had two baseball bat-sized rods in his hands.
When police officers arrived, they found two men struggling on the ground. They discovered that the two were equipped with knives and summoned more officers to the scene. A total of a dozen additional police officers arrived at the scene according to video footage retrieved from officers’ body cameras.
Despite officers commands the two men kept fighting and refused to put down their weapons. After a nine minute struggle, one of the men, Michael MacFhionghain, 57, began to stab the other man, Rafael Mendoza, 49, which prompted officers to open fire. A total of three officers fired handguns and one rifle was fired.
Both suspects were killed by the gunfire according to the medical examiner. MacFhionghain died at the scene and Mendoza later died from wounds sustained to his wounds after being transported to a hospital.
The Attorney General stated that this incident is eligible for an investigation because of the uncertainty of what transpired. The San Francisco Police Department is facing scrutiny for reportedly withholding information about the case for a week after it initially transpired.