Moll, Michael, 18

San Francisco


2003-02-13 17:19:03+002003Aspiring magician Michael Moll, 18, was shot by police. Police claim that he backed the vehicle into an unmarked police car, while the family claimed in a lawsuit that the unmarked police car had crashed into their son's automobile, giving him no way to get out. They said two plainclothes officers had then gunned down the teenager. According to police investigators, the incident began when four plainclothes officers -- who had a suspect in their cruiser and were taking him to Taraval Station -- spotted Moll in the Honda driving erratically at 4 p. m. Wednesday, running stop signs and at one point jumping the sidewalk. The Honda turned out to have been stolen from a police officer's mother who lives in the Richmond District, but the plainclothes police did not know that at the time, said Lt. John Hennessey of the homicide detail. The officers called for a patrol car to stop the Honda, but before one arrived, Moll crashed into a stopped car on southbound 19th Avenue, said homicide Inspector Herman Jones. Two of the undercover officers approached, guns drawn, and ordered Moll and a passenger to get out of the car, Jones said. The passenger told investigators that when Moll realized the men were police, he threw the car into reverse, pinning the officer who had been standing behind the cruiser's open door. Moll was fumbling with the transmission to drive forward when two officers opened fire, Hennessey said. The officers fired a total of eight shots, striking Moll five times. "It all happened in a total of eight seconds," Jones said.White