SAN FRANCISCO — A man killed by police while hiding in a friend’s town house attic was holding an eyeglasses case, not a gun as originally reported, police Chief Heather Fong said.
Asa B. Sullivan, 25, was fatally shot Tuesday by two officers after he scampered into a 2-foot-high crawl space and vowed he would not be taken alive, Fong said Wednesday.
One officer mistook Sullivan’s eyeglasses case for a weapon and opened fire, grazing his partner’s head with a bullet and causing her to believe they were under fire. She also began firing, Fong said.
“They believed this individual was pointing a firearm at them,” Fong said. “They took action they felt was appropriate at the time.”
Sullivan’s mother, Kathleen Espinosa of Van Nuys, said her son was not a violent person but was convicted for robbery in 1999. He was also on probation for dealing marijuana.
“He didn’t want to go back to jail,” Espinosa said. “I know his personality. He would be one to hide. He was scared.”