Bay Area mayor says he was punched in chest after ‘heated’ conversation with man at home
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SAN FRANCISCO — The Bay Area mayor and his chief of staff were caught in a heated argument at home when the man punched at least one of them in the chest.
As many as six gunshots were heard, police say, and a bullet struck the mayor in the chest at least once at his home on Tuesday morning.
Police believe the victim, Mayor John Avalos, received at least two of the blows to the chest. Avalos himself says the attack was not random because he was in a heated argument with his top aide before shots were fired. But he says the man who punched him may have been angry and confused by the dispute.
At least one officer opened fire when the mayor’s aide came at them with the gun.
No one was hit by the gunfire.
Authorities believe multiple shots were fired inside the house and it’s unclear whether all the shots came from inside the house or from somewhere outside, said San Francisco police Officer Troy Dyer.
Avalos suffered a minor cut above his left eyebrow, a concussion and was taken to a hospital to be treated for his injuries, police said. He posted a picture on his Twitter account from inside the hospital with his hand over his chest.
“I am safe,” he wrote. “I have a few bumps and bruises but nothing more. I am a strong one & I will get thru this pain & suffering.”
Earlier this month, he and his top aide, Joe Berrios, were caught on video at home in San Francisco during a heated discussion about politics.
The argument was caught on camera and shows then-Mayor Ed Lee and his chief of staff, Christine Falvey, yelling at each other. The tension escalated when Falvey took a swig from a bottle of wine and threw it on the floor.
Video of the confrontation shows the mayor taking a turn slamming away at Falvey. At one point, Lee takes a swing with his right arm.