An innocent bystander accidentally struck by a San Mateo police officer’s bullet during a late-morning shootout nearly two years ago received a $210,000 settlement from the city of San Mateo.
Sean Moran was shot in the hip during a shootout between police and an armed robbery suspect at the Central County Mental Health Facility on La Selva Street July 20, 2007. Police killed Adam Ramirez, 43, after he led them on a high-speed chase and then fired on the officers after allegedly saying goodbye to his wife, who worked in the building.
Moran was waiting for a doctor’s appointment when he was shot.
"We respect the police. This is a reasonable settlement in light of the circumstances,” said Peter Labrador, Moran’s attorney. The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office found the actions of the officers were justified that day.
Moran suffers significant scarring from the incident and the bullet is still encapsulated in his hip, Labrador said.
At approximately 10:49 a.m. that Friday, police responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Fiesta Latina Market, located at 1424 Cary Ave. The two men allegedly entered the store, walked behind the register counter and used a handgun to rob the store. The clerk and a patron were in the store and neither were injured. Witnesses reported seeing both men flee the store heading west on Cary Avenue, Lt. Mike Brunicardi reported at the time.
Witnesses saw the men jumping fences in the 600 block of Patricia Avenue toward Bayshore Boulevard where officers spotted the suspects in a car. Police followed the car south on Highway 101, as it exited East Hillsdale Boulevard and onto La Selva in the Los Prados neighborhood in the south end of the city, police reported then.
The car stopped near the Central County Mental Health Facility at 3080 La Selva, near the Marina Plaza Shopping Center.
Ramirez, of Redwood City, suffered a fatal gunshot wound while a 17-year-old was taken into custody after fleeing the scene.
Police fired 11 shots, one of which struck Moran in the hip.
San Mateo City Attorney Shawn Mason was not available for comment but the Associated Press reported the city and the officers will admit no wrongdoing as part of the settlement and the District Attorney’s Office determined the officers’ action was justified.
Bill Silverfarb can be reached by e-mail: email@example.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.