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Rookie SF officer fired after fatally shooting carjacking suspect

The termination has sparked outrage from the city’s police union and its president

By PoliceOne Staff

SAN FRANCISCO — A rookie San Francisco officer was fired after fatally shooting a carjacking suspect.

SFGate reports that Officer Chris Samayoa was on his fourth day on the job when the fatal December shooting occurred. The termination has sparked outrage from the city’s police union and its president, Marty Halloran.

“Chris was fired for doing what he was trained to do by the SFPD Academy, and for what happened on his fourth day on the job under extremely stressful and difficult circumstances,” Halloran wrote in a statement. “This was a needless action as any taken by someone wearing the uniform of our chief.”

On Dec. 1, 42-year-old Keita O’Neil reportedly assaulted a state lottery worker and stole her minivan before leading police on a pursuit.

O’Neil then abandoned the vehicle and ran toward the patrol car occupied by Samayoa and a training officer. In the former officer’s body cam footage, Samayoa opens the side door and fires through the window at O’Neil.

O’Neil was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Samayoa turned on his BWC after the shooting, which was an apparent violation of the department’s policy. The cameras have a feature that preserves the previous 30 seconds before they’re activated.

Halloran said Samayoa is a “textbook example of what a police officer should be.”

The SFPD confirmed that Samayoa was fired, but declined to comment further because it was a personnel matter.

The shooting remains under investigation by the PD’s internal affairs division, the homicide bureau and the San Francisco DA.

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