SFPD honors officer killed in line of duty

San Francisco police will pay tribute Thursday to Officer Bryan Tuvera, who was shot and killed 10 years ago today during a foot pursuit of a suspect.

Tuvera, 28, was shot on Dec. 22, 2006, in the city’s Sunset District while pursuing a state prison escapee, Marlon Ruff of San Bruno.

When officers pursued the fleeing suspect into the garage of a residence in the 1600 block of 25th Avenue, Ruff allegedly opened fire, hitting Tuvera.

A second officer returned fire and Ruff was declared dead at the scene. However, a medical examiner’s investigation later determined that Ruff had taken his own life during the confrontation.

Tuvera, a four-year veteran of the department, died of his injuries in a hospital early on the morning of Dec. 23.

Members of the public wishing to honor Tuvera can visit the Community Room at Taraval Police Station at 2345 24th Ave. today between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Light refreshments will be made available.

The public can also visit a memorial garden that was dedicated in Tuvera’s memory at McCoppin Square, directly across the street from the station, year-round during regular park hours.

Tuvera was the last officer shot in the line of duty in San Francisco until the Oct. 25 shooting this year of Officer Kevin Downs, who was responding to a disturbance at a Big 5 Sporting Goods store at 1533 Sloat Blvd.

Downs was struck in the head with a shot that police said nearly killed him and left him with some paralysis.

A suspect in that shooting, later identified as Pacifica resident Nicholas McWherter, 26, was shot by two other officers when he allegedly opened fire a second time near Stern Grove.

McWherter was taken to San Francisco General Hospital but died of his injuries two days later.