At approximately 8:30 p.m., December 22, 2006, San Francisco police officers attempted to serve a felony warrant on a man described as armed and very dangerous in the area of 25th Avenue and Lawton Street. Police spotted the suspect after recognizing him from flyers circulated at the Taraval station. When officers approached him with an arrest warrant, he ran.
Officers set up a search perimeter at 25th and 26th avenues and Moraga and Lawton streets. During the search, Officer Bryan Tuvera and his partner spotted the suspect and chased him on foot to a two-story home at 1631 25th Ave. After leading the officers up to the home, the suspect kicked down a side door to the home’s garage and ran inside. When officers followed, the suspect turned and fired, hitting Officer Tuvera. Tuvera’s partner continued the pursuit and returned fire on the suspect. The suspect ran into an adjoining area and collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officer Tuvera was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, where a team of surgeons led by Dr. Geoffrey Manley, chief of neurotrauma, tried in vain to save his life. Shortly after midnight, the announcement came that Officer Tuvera was taken off life support and died at 12:01 a.m. –Twelve years to the minute after his father, Benny Tuvera, a San Francisco police dispatcher, had passed away.
The suspect, identified as Marlon Ruff (33) had a no-bail felony warrant for escape. Ruff had been a fugitive since February 2005, when he walked away from a state prison firefighting camp in Humboldt County. Ruff was imprisoned for a September 2003 robbery in Daly City, in which he hit an armored car guard and stole $4,600. He was on parole from a gun conviction at the time. Ruff was suspected of recent robberies and possible burglaries in the Taraval district.
Officer Tuvera is survived by his wife of two months, Salina, a fellow SFPD officer out of Park Station. The newlyweds dated for nearly a year before marrying and were preparing to spend their first holiday together. Family members said Tuvera had always wanted to join the force. It came as no surprise that not long after becoming an officer, he fell in love with and married a fellow officer, whose father also is a veteran cop. “He pretty much knew what he wanted to do as a kid,” said Tuvera’s father-in-law, Rafael Labutan Jr., a 17 year veteran currently a patrol officer at the Richmond District Police Station.
Bryan Tuvera was a 1996 graduate of South San Francisco High School after which he attended San Francisco State University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice. Tuvera joined the SFPD on July 1, 2002 as a member of the 205th Police Academy Class. Officer Tuvera served at Southern and Park Stations before his most recent assignment at Taraval Station. He was a dedicated and devoted officer who received countless citizen and captains commendations.
On the morning of December 29, 2006, hundreds of elected officials, family and uniformed police officers attended funeral services at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. California’s Attorney General Bill Lockyer said in eulogizing Tuvera that attending the funerals of peace officers was the hardest part of his job. “Somehow or another we’ve got to figure this out. We’re losing too many noble, bright people like Bryan Tuvera,” he said.
Gary Delagnes, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association expressed outrage at the loss of a good man and the lack of public outcry. “Oftentimes the death of a police officer is treated as collateral damage. It comes with the profession, some people say,” Delagnes said. “I read the paper the days following Bryan’s death. I saw no public outrage …
“Collateral damage? Not to us.”
In addition to his wife, Officer Bryan Tuvera is survived by his mother Sandy, sister Tracee, grandparents Shirley and Stanley Scoville along with his in-laws and many aunts, uncles and cousins.