Suspect Identified In Friday's 16th & Valencia Standoff

A 57-year-old woman, Samantha Helstrom, has been identified as the suspect who pulled a gun on two men in San Francisco's Mission District Friday afternoon, according to police.

Police responded to reports of a person with a gun in the 500 block of Valencia Street between 16th and 17th streets at 1:55 p.m., according to police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak.

Samantha Helstrom. | Photo: Courtesy of SFPD

The call came in after an exterminator and building manager went to Helstrom's apartment in the Crown Hotel (528 Valencia St.) to conduct pest control. Helstrom then pulled a gun, and the two men fled, Andraychak said.

According to police, Helstrom barricaded herself in the apartment before stepping out and shouting "kill me" several times, confronting officers who had taken position in the hallway.

Two officers delivered four foam batons, which struck Helstrom. She then returned to her apartment.

After hours of negotiations, Helstrom stepped into the hallway and surrendered to police at 9:05 p.m.

Police said she was evaluated at a hospital and booked into the San Francisco County jail on suspicion of making criminal threats and brandishing a firearm.

All vehicular and pedestrian traffic was shut down on Valencia Street during the incident and residents in the area were ordered to shelter-in-place, police said. The closure of the busy thoroughfare caused heavy traffic in the area and San Francisco Municipal railway buses to be rerouted.

Independent movie venue the Roxie Theater wrote on Twitter that they were in the shelter-in-place area, but police allowed them to escort patrons to the theater from the corner of 16th and Albion streets for their 7pm screening of "Uncle Howard."

Police said a handgun was recovered from Helstrom's apartment, and an investigation is ongoing. —Jade Atkins

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Suspect identified in friday s 16th valencia standoff