Posted on July 22, 2011

Police: Bayview Suspect Shot Himself

Marisa Lagos, San Francisco Chronicle, July 22, 2011

After five days of heat over the fatal shooting of a fleeing suspect in the Bayview, San Francisco police on Thursday let loose a bombshell–the young man not only had a gun, officials said, but appears to have killed himself with it.

The bullet that killed 19-year-old Kenneth Wade Harding on Saturday came from a .380-caliber firearm, authorities announced, and a round of the same caliber was recovered from Harding’s jacket pocket.


Cmdr. Mike Biel, who heads investigations, said detectives now believe Harding fatally wounded himself as he fled from two police officers who were attempting to check whether he had a Muni ticket.

Police are still trying to find that weapon, which they believe was stolen from the crime scene.


Police said earlier that Harding tried to shoot at the two officers during the chase. Still, the death of Harding, a Washington state parolee wanted for questioning by Seattle police in connection with a July 13 killing there, sparked outrage in the Bayview district.


Earlier this week, police said lab tests revealed gunshot residue on Harding’s right hand, and that ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection and location system, showed that three guns were fired during a six-second period.


Police were unable to find a gun at the scene, but video taken by a bystander shows an object on the ground roughly 10 yards from where Harding fell wounded. Biel said a man in a hooded sweatshirt picked up a gun, shell casings and a cell phone and spirited them away from the scene.


Harding was released on parole in April in connection with charges that he tried to force a 14-year-old girl into prostitution in Seattle, and police there said he is also a person of interest in a shooting that killed 19-year-old Tanaya Gilbert and wounded three others.

The fatal shooting of Harding on a crowded street in broad daylight has angered many people. Some have said they don’t believe he was armed, while others have complained of a long history of poor relations between police and San Francisco’s African American community.

On Tuesday, 43 people were arrested during a protest that led to vandalism of a Muni station and, according to police, two assaults. On Wednesday, Police Chief Greg Suhr was booed offstage during a town hall meeting at the Bayview Opera House.


27 responses to “Police: Bayview Suspect Shot Himself”

  1. Peejay in Frisco says:

    Most of the demonstrators (over 90%)were white. The suspect is a person of interest in a killing in Seattle. He served over a year in prison for trying to pimp out a 14 year old girl (haven’t we all heard of this before). The Whites are only trying to show the blacks in Hunters Point how much they love them, regardless of what one of them may have done. I think that most blacks are able to see through this phoniness.

  2. patthemick says:

    Well could he have been shot by a police officers backup piece? It’s not impossible that a guy shot at extreme close range could get gunshot residue on his right hand and crime labs have recently been proven awful cop friendly.

    The fact that the weapon was stolen at the scene does strike me as implausible since civilians with common sense run away from gunfire and certainly don’t stand around looking for guns used in criminal enterprises to pick up.

  3. Up to my neck in CA. says:

    The Whites that participated in the “rally” are a group of anarchists that attend every “rally” in the Bay area. They are made up of deadbeats and college dropouts with nothing better to do but show how unracist they are. The part that upset me most was the black community is still rallying for him after he was found to have gun powder residue on his hand, not to mention he is linked to a killing of a pregnant girl in Seattle. Their ignorance knows no bounds. They recently made the SF police chiefs public address a scream-fest.

  4. Tom in illinois says:

    If the officers were black, do you think the “residents” would think they killed him?

  5. whiteraven says:

    “……..others have complained of a long history of poor relations between police and San Francisco’s African American community.”

    How very odd. It’s incomprehensible that black communities would have problems with police just because they’re rife with crime and violence.

    Maybe the police need sensitivity training so they’ll have a better attitude about blacks.

  6. SF Paul says:

    The black community in San Francisco is very angry about a convicted felon and parolee being shot after he pulled a gun and shot it while running from police. What started the incident? The black man wanted a free ride on public transportation. Most blacks feel that they should not have to pay for a bus or train ride because they are black. A simple $2 ticket could have prevented the entire incident. The man could have even tried to explain to the police that he was from out of town and thought he could pay on the train and then politely ask the officers if they could show him how to use the ticket machine. If he was polite and apologetic he would have gotten his ticket and the police would have just figured he was another stupid tourist. I have seen this happen before. Instead when police asked for his ticket he ran and then pulled a gun and pulled the trigger when it was apparently pointed at him and shot himself. Seeing the gun and hearing the shots the police fired their guns and kept their guns on him as he struggled and tried to crawl away. A large crowd of blacks gathered to yell abuse at the police and drink from paper bags while waiting for an ambulance. Video tape from cell phones shows this as it also shows a black “brother” picking up the gun, shells and phone to destroy evidence from the police. When a black is shot by police under any circumstances the black people get angry and charge racism. It was reported that one of the officers involved was black, which does not matter to angry blacks. Demonstrations, rioting, vandalism, looting and burning are the only response by blacks to a police shooting. Black ministers and naacp leaders must protest the racism. Conversely, a couple weeks ago a white man was shot by transit police in a subway station in San Francisco. It took about a week and a half before their was a protest which was mainly white anarchist types who just enjoy protests and vandalism. As soon as that shooting happened racism charges were made until the man was reported to be white. Then community outrage disappeared. Police kill a black it is a racist crime, kill a white nobody cares. The town hall meeting by the police chief could not happen because the hundreds of blacks yelled and screamed abuse at the chief until he was unable to make himself heard,he later commented that the meeting went exactly as he knew it would. All this happened because a black man felt that he was “owed” a free train ride.

  7. Bill R says:

    YES, BLACKS WOULD pick up the gun and the cell phone from a crime scene, and take off with it. They do it all the time. Take things from dead people before cops get on the scene, or when they aren’t looking. They are insensitive to the nth degree. Have you not heard of the black killed at a chicken take out restaurant, and tens or a hundred blacks just walked around his body to get that finger lickin good chicken special?

    You tube has a video news spot about it. So yeah, gun shots didn’t scare away the blacks from their chicken, and a dead body lying right there close to the pick up window didn’t bother them much either. It’s entirely believable that some black saw a chance to acquire a gun and a phone as an opportunity, not a crime or anything unusual.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Patthemick Wrote:

    The fact that the weapon was stolen at the scene does strike me as implausible since civilians with common sense run away from gunfire and certainly don’t stand around looking for guns used in criminal enterprises to pick up.


    I’m afraid you’re using white logic on a black crowd, which doesn’t work. In situations like this, blacks run TOWARDS the crime scene, surround the officers in close proximity and begin yelling and threatening the police. Often the dead perpetrator’s gun is stolen in the chaos. Many guns go missing, giving “community activists” another excuse to claim the cops are lying to cover up a racist rampage against innocent black men, and that the dead choir boy/honor student/aspiring rapper/basketball player was really unarmed and peaceful the whole time.

    This time they’ve luckily got a video of a guy stealing the gun from the scene before the shot perp even finished bleeding.

    …Suhr played the video and pointed to what appears to be a silver handgun lying on the ground about 15 feet away from Harding. Suhr said the video shows a man in a white-and-gray hooded sweatshirt picking up the weapon.

  9. Soprano Fan says:

    I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: If a black is shot and killed by another black, there is no outrage whatsoever, in the black community. For example, if Willie Kasavubu is shot and killed by Lumumba Washington during a drug deal, black will foam at the mouth about the gun, not the shooter of that gun.

    If, however, a black is shot and killed by by someone of a different race, all heck breaks loose. We’ve all seen it before, in city after city.

  10. chuck d says:

    Poster #2 suggests that possibly a policeman’s “backup” weapon was used. What cop in his right mind is going to use a ‘backup’ weapon when confronted with a fleeing black that is firing a gun at them? Maybe if they had dropped their service weapon somehow –then they would need to use a “backup weapon” if they had one. Both cops had and used their issued service weapons. The mortally wounded suspect not only had gunpowder residue on his right hand but a 38 caliber bullet was found in his jacket. He was killed with a 38 caliber bullet. You don’t get gunpowder residue only on your right hand if someone else had shot you. I thought that I read in the newspaper a day or so ago that the gun had been found and the police now have it.

  11. White Devil says:

    Wow! This ranks right up there with Kennedys magic bullet, Ron Browns magic radio beacon and Vince Fosters magic gun. No chance that was planted on him I suppose? .380 is the choice of carry for inner city blacks after all.

  12. white is right, black is whack says:

    Gosh, for young black males having a reputation of being law abiding, hard working, responsible men that don’t join gangs, drop out of school and think whites should strip of their money, freedom and lives, I can’t imagine why those “racist cops” are suspicious of them….

  13. Duke says:

    Hey Pat…

    “civilians with common sense” are in very short supply in the Bayview.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Probably to just be on the safe side “Rev’run Al and Jesse will go into Oakland to gather reinforcements and stage a march across the bridge.

    White cops


    Dead black


    Perfect publicity and reason to spread the same old vitriol

  15. Cliff Yablonski says:

    Here’s a picture and article about the “black honor student” who it seems has a record of child rape and violent attacks dating back to his childhood:

  16. Native Daughter of the Golden West says:

    Those anarchists and rally attendees are all White men and a few women who are unemployed and have nothing to do. They are unemployed because they are White victims of affirmative action.

    They are brainwashed zombies whose minds were destroyed in college by the incessant Whites evil all others good mantra.

    If they had jobs and lives they would not be attending rallies. Better they spend their time agitating against immigration and affirmative action.

    The black population of San Francisco has never been more than about 10 percent. That was in the 1970’s. They have caused virtually all the problems in town. Before WW2 there were only about 1,500 blacks in San Francisco and it was a far, far better place.

    A friend born in 1939 remembers how the blacks took over an excelsior district neighborhood playground. They came with sacks of rocks and stoned the White kids until the Whites abandoned the playground. The excelsior district is close to Bayview.

    A main street in Bayview is Silver Av. In the 60’s and 70’s the bus drivers still gave change and had access to cash. So many buses in the area were robbed with extreme violence to the drivers that the drivers began calling it the ” Silver Av suicide rout.”

    It got so bad the Board of Supervisors considered enclosing the drivers in bullet proof glass cubicles. The drivers of course were all black. That didn’t stop the robbers from shooting and stabbing them for a few dollars and whatever was in the drivers wallet. One thing was funny though. The fare was in change and many robbers didn’t realize they had to bring a bag to carry the change. So they could only get away with what they could stuff in their pockets.

  17. olewhitelady says:

    I once saw a reality cop show on TV where a black was shot dead as he, with a buddy, were fleeing together from other pursuing blacks. The dead man was found to have been shot by his friend who was–in the manner of blacks–firing blind over his shoulder as he ran. Somehow he hit someone running right alongside him. So it’s not hard for me to believe a black shot himself while shooting at police.

  18. Anonymous says:

    ‘backup’ gun could mean a gun or knife an inner-city officer carries in case of emergency (an officer involved shooting) and the officer leaves it at the scene of the crime. Sometimes referred to as a ‘drop gun’. I would be surprised if more than a few officers in all of north america carry one, if any. It would more likely be an officer of color to carry one at that.

  19. Anonymous says:

    “he tried to force a 14-year-old girl into prostitution in Seattle, and police there said he is also a person of interest in a shooting that killed 19-year-old Tanaya Gilbert and wounded three others”.

    When some of these crimes make the news it turns out some of these perps are ridiculously twisted. Makes me wonder if it’s simply an effort to get the public on the right side of the crime issue. It didn’t work in this case. Perhaps they should have said he was a black ‘white supremacist’.

  20. Anonymous says:

    It seems to be in the black DNA to blame the police no matter what the facts are. Also blacks seem to think they have a Constitutional Right to riot. The 1965 riot in L.A. was caused because police arrested a black on a simple DUI. A huge part of L.A. was burned down a great cost. The Rodney King riot occurred when police finally pulled King over after a wild high speed chase. King was a huge man and refused to submit to arrest and the police used force, including their night sticks, to take him into custody. This was capttured on videotape.

    Police were found not guilty of using excessive force in a lengthy jury trial and that caused the 1992 riot.

    Widespread looting, assault, arson and murder occurred, and property damages topped roughly $1 billion. In all, 53 people died during the riots and thousands more were injured.

  21. MarCo says:

    Well..maybe one last post.

    Firstly, what’s this “The Bayview” nonsense? I take it from the descriptions of indignant white protestors that the area formerly known as Bayview/Hunter’s Point..a notorious no-go zone since the days of Mayor Shelley, at least..has been hipsterized and gentrified into unrecognizability? Would these white people be hanging around without a lot of white cops in attendance? I too doubt that this miscreant shot himself purposefully, I think that someone (peace officer?) took him out with a personal firearm and now it’s all damage control. Blacks rarely commit suicide. And as you see this man bleed out on the sidewalk, why don’t the brother’s and sisters..or the white wienies with iPhones., go to his aid?

    This story threatens to take off like the Oscar Grant/Johannes Mehserle fiasco of a couple of years ago. There may be similar contradictions surrounding the circumstances of this case. Maybe, for the sake of everyone concerned, especially the sensibilities of those indignant white “Bayview” residents..the police should suspend any enforcement activity in that area and concentrate on the outlying neighborhoods. I’m sure the “protestors” would feel righteous vindication as they stroll unmolested through “their” neighborhood.

    It’s a shame and a wonder.

  22. Clint Eastwood says:

    The photo in the article is all you need to know. Look at the face of a criminal with no remorse or human feelings.

    That people would protest his loss is astounding.

  23. Tom S. says:

    #7 – Bill R. – It’s entirely believable that some black saw a chance to acquire a gun and a phone as an opportunity, not a crime or anything unusual.

    Then why did he ALSO pick up the shell CASINGS? No Bill, this thug MIGHT HAVE wanted the gun, but by him taking the shell casings shows me he had a more devious plan, and that was to frame the ‘raciss’ police of shooting an unarmed black ‘yuf’ that wanted to become a minister-doctor-lawyer-astronaut-scientist-‘bassetball’ playa and ‘rappa’ all at the same time. You know – the future savior of planet earth that was on his way to bible study, was just shot down like a dog by “dem raciss” PO-lice for no reason. Trust me, a ghetto lottery is coming out of this. Thats how its played in the hood. They may not be that bright, but they’re experts at shaking down ‘whitey’ every chance they get.

  24. Anonymous says:

    “Biel said a man in a hooded sweatshirt picked up a gun, shell casings and a cell phone and spirited them away from the scene.”

    This propensity for criminality and depraved opportunism reminds me of something that happened to my Dad one day when he was on the golf course (Clifton in Baltimore). He was waiting to tee off when he heard a helicopter flying low and noticed it was following a speeding car. That car crashed into a tree and the number 1 subjects fled. Some other number 1’s who were in the vicinity immediately entered the vehicle, rifled through its contents, including the trunk, pilfered unknown items, then quickly fled the scene. My Dad said he could not believe his own eyes.

  25. WHC says:

    Patthemick Wrote:

    “The fact that the weapon was stolen at the scene does strike me as implausible since civilians with common sense run away from gunfire and certainly don’t stand around looking for guns used in criminal enterprises to pick up.”

    There is video of the gun being stolen. A firearm on the black market will probably bring enough cash for a week’s worth of crack and a case of 40oz malt liquor. Anonymous #8 is quite right; Patthemick is looking at this situation with “white logic.” The young black man who stole that gun will be a hero among his peers.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Poster 24: Clifton Park Junior High School was where I saw my first spent shall casings back in the early 1960s!Your dad had nerves of steel to play golf on that course–there have some terribly brutal crimes against older white duffers as well as animals on that course. No need to mention who/ethnicity of perps.

  27. Up to my neck in CA. says:

    Update: His brother was just arrested for murder in Seattle. Their momma must be so proud.