The shooting provoked an angry response in the Bayview on Monday, where one man interviewed at the scene said he had not seen Harding firing. Police scheduled a town hall meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Bayview Opera House at 4705 Third St., at which Suhr said he wanted "to demonstrate with certainty what the facts of this case are."
Although an investigation is under way, Suhr said that "officers are allowed to shoot in defense of their lives."
Harding was paroled in April from prison in Washington after serving time for an incident in Seattle in which he tried to force a 14-year-old girl into prostitution, court records show.
Seattle investigators were seeking Harding as a person of interest in a shooting Wednesday that killed 19-year-old Tanaya Gilbert and wounded three others, said Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb.
Gilbert, a community college student, was hit by a bullet intended for someone else, a relative said Sunday.
In San Francisco, Harding was stopped at 4:44 p.m. Saturday by two uniformed officers who, while patrolling Third Street between Oakdale and Palou avenues, were conducting a fare inspection on a Muni light-rail platform.
When the officers tried to talk to Harding, he ran into Mendell Plaza and fired a gun from under his arm, police said.
The officers fired back, hitting Harding, police said. Their names have not been released. Suhr said both have been placed on routine administrative leave.
An amateur video has surfaced online showing the mortally wounded Harding and what appears to be a gun on the pavement nearby. The weapon disappeared from the scene, but Suhr said informants had provided information that led to a parolee's house in the Bayview, where police found a .45-caliber pistol that they think was Harding's.
The gun is a different caliber from the one used in the Seattle slaying, Suhr said. Tests are being done to determine whether it was fired recently and whether there was gunshot residue on Harding's hand, police said.
An angry crowd formed after the shooting, and several bullet casings in addition to the gun disappeared, the chief said. Only one casing was found at the scene, he said.
Protesters and Bayview residents gathered Monday afternoon at Third and Oakdale, where flowers, balloons and a teddy bear marked the spot where Harding died.
Bayview resident Henry Taylor said that he had seen the incident and that Harding had not shot at police.
"What I saw was a young man running for his life," Taylor said.
Some held up pictures of Oscar Grant, the unarmed man shot to death by a BART police officer in 2009, and signs reading, "The system has failed us."
"Justice doesn't look like this," said Tiyesha Phillips, 54. "Justice isn't killing a man because he doesn't have the fare or a ticket."
Chronicle staff writers Henry K. Lee and Jaxon Van Derbeken contributed to this report.
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