‘Dear Officers, You Did Nothing Wrong’: Man Who Committed Suicide by Cop Leaves Note Saying He was ‘Too Much of a Coward to Do It Himself’ (VIDEO)
Suicide by cop doesn’t seem like a particularly peaceful way to go, but Matthew Hoffman apparently thought it was his best option. In a note left for the officers who shot him, he told them to not blame themselves, because he engineered a suicide-by-cop showdown, saying he was too much of a coward to do it himself.
Officers shot Matthew Hoffman, 32, on Sunday evening after he entered a restricted parking lot at a police station and brandished what appeared to be a handgun.
It was actually an air gun, which fires small projectiles such as pellets or BBs.
San Francisco police made public one of several notes, this one titled ‘Dear Officer(s)’ with the permission of Hoffman’s father, authorities said in a statement.
In the note, Hoffman, 32, said the officers ‘ended the life of a man who was too much of a coward to do it himself.’
‘Please, don’t blame yourself. I used you. I took advantage of you,’ Hoffman added.
Hoffman was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, where he later died of his wounds. The officers were not injured.
The air gun did not have a colored tip on it, which is a standard identifier of a toy gun, Officer Gordon Shyy said Monday. He declined to discuss any other details of the case.
… The shooting occurred about 5:15 p.m. after three sergeants noticed a man loitering in the parking lot of the Mission District police station. The parking lot is clearly marked as restricted to the public, but a gate is kept open for police vehicles to come and go, Suhr said.
Police ordered Hoffman to leave, and he began to walk away but then stood in the middle of the driveway, staring at them and blocking them from leaving. The sergeants again ordered him to leave.
Hoffman began backing out of the parking lot, facing the sergeants with his hands in his front shirt pockets. They asked him to show his hands. He lifted his sweater and showed what appeared to be the butt of a handgun, Esparza said.
When Hoffman reached for his waistband and pulled out the air gun, two of the sergeants opened fire, hitting Hoffman three times.
Hoffman had approached officers at the Mission District station earlier in the day and asked them what kind of guns San Francisco police carry, what kind of ammunition they use and if the officers had been involved in any officer-involved shootings, Esparza said.
The officers did not speak with the man, and he eventually left.
This is a tragedy on multiple levels — it is a tragedy that Hoffman felt he must die, and even more so that he forced other people to be dragged into his suicide. Now these officers will have to grapple with the knowledge that they killed someone, which shows that, while sad, this was a truly selfish, horrible act.