Abraham, Amanuel 29

San Francisco


1994-12-08 09:55:43+001994Amanuel was killed in a hail of police gunfire inside a downtown San Francisco bank. Although police fired dozens of shots from close range -- by some accounts as many as 100 shots in a two-minute period -- Abraha was struck only three times. He was wounded in the head, knee and foot, police said. Amanuel was a former mental patient at Atascadero State Hospital. He had a history of mental problems and tangles with the law dating to 1984. ``We don't understand what went on,'' said Netsanet Abraha, 17, his youngest sister, in a telephone interview. ``We don't have any answers. It's been really confusing.'' She added that the family was upset with media speculation about her brother's motives and mental state. Although she confirmed that her brother had been at the Atascadero hospital, she denied that he had mental problems. ``No matter what he did in the past, he was trying to change his life,'' she said. ``He had plans for himself. There was no way he was suicidal.'' Abraha was fatally shot Tuesday morning inside the Bank of America branch at Powell and Market streets by eight officers, who fired dozens of bullets after Abraha appeared to pull the pin on a hand grenade and throw it at police. The grenade turned out to be an inoperative training grenade containing no explosives. George Hughes, a San Francisco SPCA volunteer who was outside the bank when the gunfire began, looked inside the window and described the scene as ``all hell breaking loose.'' ``I heard 40 to 50 shots within about three minutes,'' Hughes said. ``It reminded me of a John Wayne movie.''Black