A San Francisco man shot dead by police after killing his mother and the family dog early Thursday morning had a history of drug-fueled outbursts and violence against his elderly parents, The Standard has learned.
Marc Child, 37, was shot by an officer who responded to a 911 call at the family home on 31st Avenue near Balboa Street in the Richmond at around 2:40 a.m. Thursday, police said. He was taken to a local hospital and died.
Child, whose identity was confirmed by a source with knowledge of the case, was shot once while advancing with a knife toward the officer and his 84-year-old father near the front of the house, police said. Police then entered the residence and found both his 76-year-old mother and the dog dead.
The incident began after Child’s father woke up to his son walking around the house and told him to go back to bed, according to a police official. Child then attacked his mother and the dog. His father was also injured.
The 84-year-old called 911 to report “his wife is bleeding and he thinks his child killed her by hitting her with a stick,” according to a dispatch recording reviewed by The Standard.
Child was a licensed attorney in California, according to the State Bar. On his social media profiles, he openly talked about his struggles with mental illness.
“I was in biglaw and dealing with substance issues (no relation, of course),” Child wrote in September 2022 on a now-deleted Twitter account. “I was [placed on a mental health detention] more than once and spent time in jail, in the middle of which I attended an unholy mess of a jail-adjacent residential program.”
“I'm an immensely wiser person from the whole experience and I'm doing much better now (no thanks to the criminal justice system),” he continued.
Court records show Child was accused of attacking those close to him at least twice before, leaving his family in fear.
In October 2019, his then-girlfriend sought a restraining order against Child saying that he punched her in the head at her home in Orange County. She also said that Child showed up at her home shortly after the attack, banged on the door and refused to leave. He then called her 40 times from jail.
Child’s parents also sought a restraining order against him. In January 2021, Child was living with his parents at their home on 31st Avenue in the Richmond District when he attacked them both, court records show.
That night, his father was awakened to find his son standing in the living room with the windows open as rain came into the house. A scuffle began when Child’s father tried to get him away from the window.
Child grabbed his father and dragged him across the living room into a hallway, according to court records. Child then grabbed his mother by the arms and shoulders and blocked her path until police showed up.
In seeking the restraining order, the elder Child father wrote that his son had a black belt in kung fu and that he and his wife were unable to protect themselves from him. Child, his father said, was subject to “unprovoked fits of anger” that were exacerbated by drug usage and resulted in damage to property including a vehicle.
The “outbursts have become increasingly more frequent and volatile, and we are afraid,” his father wrote in 2021. “He also hears others' voices and believes we are in danger even though we tried to assure him otherwise."
His parents also asked to keep Child away from their two dogs, a pitbull named Lala and a golden retriever called Kilo.
“They are attuned to his behavior/angry tone of voice and run and hide at the slightest sign of his behavior,” his father wrote in seeking the order.
Child’s father did not respond to a phone call seeking comment. He was taken to a hospital Thursday morning.
Child was charged with misdemeanor battery and elder abuse in January 2021 and later accused of violating a restraining order in September 2021 and February 2022, court records show. It’s unclear how those cases were resolved.
The Thursday shooting by police remains under investigation. The San Francisco Police Department is expected to release more details about the case in the coming days.
The incident marked the second deadly shooting by SFPD in just over a month after the department went a year without any such cases. On May 19, a tactical officer shot and killed a 40-year-old man during an extended standoff after the suspect snorted drugs and reached for a handgun.
Matthew Kupfer contributed additional reporting for this story.