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Knifeman suspect wheeled out of apartment after police standoff

A person in a wheelchair is escorted by two officers, one holding a roll of caution tape. The street is cordoned off, with a "Do Not Walk" signal visible.
A man involved in a lengthy standoff with police is wheeled out of the apartment building in the Mission on Thursday afternoon. | Source: George Kelly/The Standard

A man who was suspected of being armed with a knife and making threats was wheeled out of an apartment building in the Mission District Thursday afternoon after a lengthy standoff with police.

Video from the scene showed more than a dozen San Francisco police and fire vehicles, including multiple SWAT units, parked near 24th and Harrison streets. Yellow caution tape blocked off the sidewalk along 24th as passersby stood and watched from the corner.

The standoff started around 8:30 a.m. when police said they received a report of a man armed with a knife making threats. Hours later, police were still trying to coax him out of the building.

SWAT units are seen outside an apartment building at 24th and Harrison streets on Thursday. | Source: Courtesy

A man wearing a dark-colored T-shirt could be seen from the street shouting from an open window in a third-floor apartment at 3001 24th St. Police were seen lowering a blue ball on a string from the building’s roof toward that apartment unit as drones flew overhead.

An official using a loudspeaker on the street was heard telling the man to stop crying and come outside.

“We just want to make sure you’re OK,” the official said at one point.

A person with light hair is partially visible through a slightly open window, looking outside. The window has a beige frame.
Police try to persuade a man who was allegedly armed with a knife to leave his 24th Street apartment building on Thursday. | Source: George Kelly/The Standard

The building, Casa de la Misión, is a permanent supportive housing community for formerly homeless seniors. Mercy Housing, the nonprofit that manages the building, did not immediately respond to The Standard’s request for comment.

The owner of the nearby Temo’s Cafe said the man, an elderly immigrant from Russia, regularly comes to her business. She often gives him free coffee because he says he doesn’t have money. Every few days, he brings her flowers. A recent bouquet was sitting on the counter Thursday.

A cafe scene with people seated near a window, a marble countertop holding a potted plant, a glass vase with flowers, and a box with a purple illustration.
The owner of the nearby Temo's Cafe says the man at the center of a police standoff in the Mission on Thursday is a regular customer who brings her flowers. | Source: George Kelly/The Standard

As the standoff stretched into the afternoon hours, police seemed to make little progress in encouraging the man to come out of the building. Then around 3:20 p.m., the man appeared to throw a bottle out the window.

A few minutes later, smoke was seen coming out of the unit as people outside on the street began to cough.

Shortly thereafter, police wheeled the man out of the building and then transferred him into an ambulance. As he was being pushed across the street, the man raised his left fist in the air.

The image shows a building with light-colored siding and large windows emitting thick white smoke, suggesting a possible fire or exhaust issue.
Smoke is seen coming out of the window of an apartment of a man involved in a standoff with San Francisco police. | Source: George Kelly/The Standard
In this image, paramedics assist an elderly man on a stretcher near a red ambulance on a city street. The area is cordoned off with yellow tape, and graffiti is visible.
The man involved in the standoff with police is transferred into an ambulance after apparently being smoked out of his apartment on Thursday afternoon. | Source: George Kelly/The Standard

A police department representative did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the smoke. An officer at the scene wouldn’t say whether police used gas to force the man out of the apartment. He then asked a reporter if he had an extra mask.

This is a developing story.

George Kelly can be reached at