SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KPIX) -- At a virtual town hall meeting, San Francisco police released new information about the suspect who was shot and killed by officers at San Francisco International Airport.
Such town hall meetings are customary in the 10 days following police shootings.
For the first time, police showed various video angles from the officer-involved shooting that killed 37-year-old Nelson Szeto, last Thursday.
Officers can be seen giving commands to the San Francisco resident, who told them he lived on Market Street. SFPD first responded to reports of a suspicious armed individual in the international terminal near the BART entrance.
"Officers continued to speak with Mr. Szeto to establish rapport, utilizing de-escalation techniques. Mr. Szeto slowly walked behind a commercial lift and placed his knife down on top of a tire. Mr. Szeto reached inside his jacket and said quote 'I have another gun and this one's loaded.' Mr. Szeto removed what officers described to be a second hand gun from inside his jacket. He was now holding on to two handguns, one in each of his hands," said SFPD Commander Paul Yep.
"At one point, Mr. Szeto told officers to shoot him, quote 'Center mass,' adding quote 'Make sure you aim.' Officers reiterated that they did not want to shoot him and only wanted to get him help. Mr. Szeto stated, quote 'Thank you for your service. I respect you guys.' He then apologized and stated several times, quote 'I'm sorry,'" Yep continued.
Officers first deployed less lethal weapons as they pleaded with Szeto to drop his, but he did not comply. Four officers eventually fired live rounds. Szeto's guns were later confirmed to be airsoft weapons, which shoot plastic projectiles.
A bystander was also hit in the leg during the shooting and treated at the hospital.
During Monday's public comment, a friend called in to humanize Szeto.
"This was a kind individual, and I had no idea he had this mental and neither did his friends and family. If one of us had been contacted somehow I believe the situation would have turned out differently," said the caller.
Many callers were critical of SFPD's actions saying they did not de-escalate the situation.
"The officers could have gotten a mental health professional on the phone, either on Nelson's phone having them call, contact him directly or on an officer's phone," the man said. "That would have gotten one of the guns out of his hand, if he had complied with that"
Others supported the police officers.
"I also want to show my displeasure with the community, for acting like hindsight is 20/20 and that they know how they would act," the caller said.
"This vitriol, attitude of people blaming the police is just disgusting," added another caller.
Chief Bill Scott said the case was under review in multiple independent investigations, including the California Attorney General's office.
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