From: SF Chronicle
By: Pete Grieve and Michael Cabanatuan
A man shot by an off-duty San Francisco police officer was arrested on suspicion of assaulting the officer, who has been placed on paid administrative leave while the department’s internal affairs division investigates, authorities said Monday.
The shooting occurred at about 10 p.m. Sunday outside a green, six-unit building with a locked gate at the corner of Moeser Lane and Kearney Street, according to El Cerrito police.
The officer was identified by KTVU as Roderick Suguitan. His attorney, Nicole Pifari, told The Chronicle her client acted in self-defense Sunday.
“Obviously, the investigations into this matter are ongoing,” she said. “However, I'm confident that when all the facts are in, the evidence will show the officer was acting lawfully to protect his own life last night, and did what he needed to do to survive a violent encounter.”
The SFPD awarded Suguitan a medal of valor in 2010 for shooting a man who allegedly charged at police with a machete. The man died.
In this latest incident, Thomas Vincent Whalen, 44, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon or instrument on a peace officer, El Cerrito police said. His bail was set at $75,000. Police had not located any witnesses. El Cerrito police said Whalen attacked the off-duty officer with a rock.
Gary Sterman, who lives with his husband in the building, said Suguitan, his neighbor, apparently went to investigate loud banging on the gate to the building’s courtyard. A loud scuffle followed and then two gunshots, Sterman said.
“All I know is he was attacked,” he said.
Neighbors have had problems with homeless people using the complex’s front yard to inject drugs and go to the bathroom, “but nothing like this,” Sterman said.
Police said Whalen is a transient.
Alan Suo, a UC Berkeley student who lives across Kearney Street, said he was getting ready for bed when he heard two shots. Police arrived minutes later.
He said that despite the busy nature of the neighborhood, it seemed mostly peaceful.
“I’ve never heard shooting here,” Suo said.
Whalen was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland, De La Campa said. He is expected to survive.
San Francisco police announced the internal affairs probe Monday afternoon. Authorities from El Cerrito and Contra Costa County are conducting their own investigations.