SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A man who came to the United States after helping the Army has been shot dead by police after charging them with a knife. It is believed that the suspect was suffering from some type of mental crisis.
The San Francisco Police Department responded to an armed disturbance on November 19th at the Covered Wagon Hotel which is transitional housing for people who have been arrested or just released from jail.
The person who called for assistance alleged that the suspect, identified as Ajmal Amani, had been arguing with staff while armed with a knife.
While police were responding to the scene, Amani’s case manager called the San Francisco Police Department to report that he was suffering from a mental crisis and had been diagnosed with PTSD.
As officers arrived on the scene, hotel surveillance footage provided by the San Francisco Police Department show Amani walking the hallways while speaking in what appeared to be an agitated tone to two employees.
The employees had broomsticks which they held up in attempts to keep Amani at bay until police could arrive.
UPDATE: Surveillance & body-cam videos released in deadly @SFPDSouthern shooting of Ajmal Amani at SoMa hotel. @SFPD says he charged at officers while armed w/knife. Amani once worked as Afghan interpreter for U.S. military & had PTSD, per @sfdefender. 5:30,6,7:30 p.m. @KTVU pic.twitter.com/uQpWQPKS5o
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) November 25, 2021
The two employees were able to safely exit the hotel and make contact with the two officers, identified as John Quinlan and Danny De Leon Garcia, to provide information. Quinlan and De Leon Garcia then entered the hotel and made contact with Amani in the hallway.
After a brief interaction, Amani went into the hallway and then quickly retreated out of the sight of officers. Quinlan and De Leon Garcia are seen retreating and positioning themselves in doorways down the hall from Amani’s room.
Amani became agitated at the officers presence and began yelling at them to shut up as they were trying to get him to peacefully surrender and receive help. After he yelled for the officers to shut up, he then told the officers that they should just shoot him.
De Leon Garcia had been designated as the less-lethal officer which meant that he had his department-issued shotgun with beanbag rounds with him. Quinlan was designated as lethal cover for De Leon Garcia as per San Francisco Police Department Policy.
Videos show Ajmal Amani charging at @SFPDSouthern officers at SoMa residential hotel while armed with knife, per @SFPD. @SFPDChief Bill Scott express condolences to family of Amani, who once served as Afghan interpreter for US military & had PTSD. https://t.co/8Bqhqnq2jn pic.twitter.com/T9GZ9CYNWV
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) November 25, 2021
After the officers had a brief verbal interaction with Amani, he appeared in the hallway, knife in hand, and charged at the officers. He can be clearly heard yelling the Islamist phrase “Allahu Akbar” in the bodycam, which some say suggests a terrorist motive in the attack.
Both officers opened fire and Quinlan is believed to have struck Amani at least twice with the four rounds he fired. De Leon Garcia is believed to have fired three bean bag rounds.
Amani fell to the ground in obvious pain as officers again tried to engage him with commands to show his hands but did not initially approach. This is for two reasons, one, they know that Amani is armed with a knife and has already charged them once, and two, they do not know if the rounds that impacted Amani were sufficient to stop the threat of attack.
Another officer arrived on the scene and had a tactical shield which allowed officers to safely approach Amani and secure the knife. Once the knife was secured, officers immediately began life-saving measures.
According to San Francisco Police Commander Paul Yep, Amani was transported to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Amani was pronounced deceased shortly afterward.
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott spoke at a virtual town hall meeting regarding the officer-involved shooting. Scott said:
“Without suggesting a premature judgment on the appropriateness of the force used in this particular incident, I can express on behalf of all of us in our department our condolences to Mr. Amani’s family, friends, and loved ones for the loss they’ve suffered.”
Amani had been an Afghani interpreter for the United States Special Forces during the armed military conflict in that country. Amani was granted asylum in the US after he served our country in that capacity.
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BENSENVILLE, IL – An officer in Illinois is recovering after being shot eight times after responding to a domestic disturbance complaint. By some miracle, he survived and is said to be improving each day.
On November 7th, Bensenville Police Officer Steven Kotlewski was dispatched to a reported domestic disturbance in the 100 block of South York Road just before 1 am. After Kotlewski arrived on the scene, he made contact with 21-year-old Kiante Tyler.
At some point during the interaction, Tyler is accused of pulling a firearm and shooting at Kotlewski ten times, striking him eight. Officers who were in the area heard the gunshots and responded to aid Kotlewski.
Officers who rendered aid reported that Kotlewski was bleeding heavily and they utilized tourniquets to his legs to stop the bleeding until they were able to load him into a police vehicle and rush him to a nearby Fire Department.
Kotlewski’s father-in-law, Dave Stachura, said:
“If they didn’t put tourniquets on them [leg injuries], he’d have died.”
Kotlewski suffered a total of eight gunshot wounds, six total in both legs and once in the back which made its way under his bullet-resistant vest. Another round struck the vest but did not appear to have penetrated.
Medics arrived and transported the officer to a nearby hospital and remained conscious and in good spirits until he was taken into surgery. Stachura said:
“He’s a lucky boy. He’s got a lot of rehab ahead of him.”
Tyler was located and taken into custody shortly after the shooting without further incident.
He has been charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of aggravated battery to a police officer with a firearm, and two counts of aggravated battery to a police officer. He has not been charged by the prosecutor with a hate crime.
Tyler was denied bond at his first appearance and does not have another court date until December.
Kotlewski has undergone several surgeries up to this point for his legs, colon, liver, kidney, diaphragm, and pelvis. It is unclear whether the surgeries he has already had will be enough or there will be more needed in the future.
Kotlewski’s sister-in-law, Ellie Murphy, started a GoFundMe to benefit him and his wife cover medical expenses and any other financial burdens they will receive as a result of this incident. In the post, she wrote:
“Steven is a twelve-year veteran of the Bensenville police department. He was the first to respond to a domestic call early morning on November 6th. Steven was shot multiple times while responding to this call. We’re all still in shock over this tragedy.
We’d like for people to understand these stories you hear on the news of law enforcement officers getting injured in the field are not just cops. They’re sons & daughters, they’re husbands & wives, and they’re parents and friends to many.
They are human beings doing their job to protect and serve our communities and keep us safe.”
Murphy then explained how Kotlewski’s wife, Crystal, is a dedicated stay-at-home mother because of the need to take care of the couple’s special needs son Joel. Of course, any potential added expense on any family is hard, but when there can only be one income being provided to a family, it hits even harder.
That is why the family is completely thankful and in awe of the outpouring of love and support, they have received. As of this writing, the GoFundMe account has raised over $170,000 of the $5,000 goal that it started with and is rising.
All of the monies donated will go toward paying for Kotlewski’s medical, rehabilitation, and any other expenses needed so that his family is provided for while this hero recovers.
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