SFPD officers who shot tiger may get medals


By John Koopman
The San Francisco Chronicle
Related: Calif. police radio transcripts reveal chaotic scene after tiger attack

SAN FRANCISCO — Four San Francisco police officers have been recommended for medals of valor for fatally shooting the tiger that escaped from its zoo enclosure on Christmas Day, killing one teen and injuring two of his friends.

Sgt. Neville Gittens, a police spokesman, said the recommendation will go to the Police Commission, a screening committee and then an awards committee to determine what, if any, recognition should go to officers Yukio Oshita, Scott Biggs, Kevin O'Leary and Daniel Kroos.

The recognition could range from letters of recommendation to medals of valor, either gold, silver or bronze.

Chief Heather Fong has mentioned the recommendation to the commission, saying the officers performed courageously in a situation for which they were not trained.

The officers arrived at the San Francisco Zoo in two teams, one plainclothes and one uniformed. They came upon a horrific scene in which one man was already dead and the tiger was attacking a second victim. Authorities have said the officers fired their .40-caliber semiautomatic handguns to kill the tiger.

Copyright 2008 The San Francisco Chronicle
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