Report of armed, barricaded person shuts down Valencia (updated)


UPDATE 3/13/17: The incident involving an armed and barricaded suspect that shut down parts of Valencia Street for hours Friday started with a visit from a pest control company, police said.

Shortly before 2 p.m., an exterminator and the manager of the building, on the 500 block of Valencia Street, went  to Samantha Helstrom’s second floor unit, and she opened the door and pointed a handgun at them, said San Francisco Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak.

As negotiators communicated with Helstrom, 57, from the street, she stepped out of her apartment at around 6:45 p.m., confronting officers in the hallway and stating several times, “kill me,” Andraychak said. When Helstrom advanced, the officers fired less-than-lethal weapons, striking her with foam batons, he said.

Helstrom went back into her apartment where she remained until just after 9 p.m. when she stepped out and surrendered, Andraychak said. She was booked on suspicion of criminal threats, a felony, and brandishing a weapon, a misdemeanor.

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Samantha Helstrom (Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Police Department)

ORIGINAL POST: An armed person has been barricaded for hours this afternoon in a building near 16th and Valencia streets, according to police, who have shut surrounding blocks down.

As of about 5 p.m., Valencia Street remained taped off between 15th and 18th streets. A hostage negotiating team began attempting to contact the armed suspect, who is barricaded in a building between 16th and 17th streets, sometime before 3 p.m., police said.

According to Mission Local, which spoke with neighbors, the subject is a woman and she is inside the Crown Hotel, at 528 Valencia. Below is a video from a patron of nearby Thanh Tam II who said the Vietnamese restaurant was on lockdown until police told people to run out.

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