A San Francisco YouTube software engineer is hospitalized in critical condition after being shot while on an LSD-fueled rampage. Betai Koffi, 32, was celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with friends when he began hallucinating after taking four doses of acid.
Koffi was shot at least three times through a windshield by a sheriff’s deputy after he punched two people, stabbed two people and attempted to kill four people by hitting them with a truck he’d stolen.
Koffi has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one charge of carjacking. Bail has not been set.
“LSD, acid, is not very common, but it’s a very dangerous drug to use,” Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Spencer Crum told KTVU. “We’re really lucky that none of these victims died in this. Really lucky,” he added. The sheriff’s office says they intend to release body camera footage of the incident in the near future.
Here’s what you need to know about Betai Koffi.
1. Koffi Stabbed & Punched His Friends after Taking 4 Hits of LSD
Koffi was staying with five close friends who had rented a house in the 600 block of Swan Drive, in Bodega Bay, California. Bodega Bay is a scenic community located approximately 50 miles north of San Francisco. The group had planned a five-day vacation over the Fourth of July holiday.
Around noon on July 4, several of Koffi’s friends took half a tab of LSD to celebrate the holiday. Koffi took two tabs. Friends said they tried to keep Koff calm after he became delusional around 3 p.m. He took two more tabs of acid between 4 and 5 p.m.
By 8 p.m., Koffi became agitated and attempted to leave the house but his friends tried to stop him. Delusional and aggressive, Koffi punched a female friend in the stomach and the side, stabbed a male friend with a pencil and punched another friend in the face.
Koffi fled the rental home and got into a rented blue Hyundai. He backed into another car parked in the driveway, then put the car in drive and attempted to hit one of his friends. Koffi then drove the car into the rental property’s garage, “lodging it into the home,” according to a statement released by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
2. Koffi Stabbed a Security Guard with a Landscape Light
Koffi then took off on foot and began running down the street. When he encountered a community security guard who attempted to question him, Koffi took a small landscape light and stabbed the guard in the chest.
The guard collapsed from his wound and was unable to apprehend Koffi.
“He picks up a landscape light, yanks it out of the ground, and stabs the security guard with the pointed metal end of it,” Crum explained to KTVU.
3. Koffi Began Intentionally Hitting People in the Security Guard’s Truck
Koffi then stole the guard’s truck and drove off “at high speed,” the Sheriff’s Office said. Using the vehicle as a weapon, Koffi drove directly towards a man and woman who were walking down the street. He hit the woman, causing serious injuries. The man suffered only minor injuries to his arm.
Koffi took the truck off-road and began driving towards another couple who was walking on a bluff. He struck the woman, who also suffered serious injuries. Koffi continued driving off the road, hit a wall, drove through a home’s yard and then got back onto the road.
4. Police Shot Koffi after He Tried to Run Them down
A sheriff’s deputy and a California Highway Patrol Officer both attempted to stop Koffi, who was driving towards both officers. The sheriff’s deputy got out of his car and fired several rounds at Koffi, who then accelerated and rammed into the CHP officer’s patrol car.
“They were yelling at him, but apparently he didn’t stop, and they started shooting, probably 10 to 12 shots,” witness Claire Tamo said.
“If this guy had kept going, who knows what he could have done to other people?” Crum said.
“Koffi continued to accelerate and the deputy fired several more rounds, at which point Koffi’s truck was stopped,” the sheriff’s office press release revealed, adding that the deputy took Koffi into custody and applied first aid until paramedics arrived.
Koffi and the first woman he hit were flown by helicopters to a hospital for treatment. The security guard and the second woman Koffi ran down were transported to the hospital by ambulance. The sheriff’s office reports that all of Koffi’s victims are expected to survive. His friends were able to treat their own injuries without hospitalization.
5. Koffi Is a Software Engineer & Stanford University Graduate
Koffi is originally from Woodland Hills, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. He’s a graduate of Taft High School.
He attended Stanford University, graduating in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He also has a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering. As an undergraduate, Koffi was a research assistant who developed thermal models for microchips. While at Stanford he served as the musical director for the a capella group, Everyday People.
Koffi worked as an associate engineer at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and was also a teaching assistant at Stanford. Koffi has worked as a software engineer since graduating from Stanford. He’s was previously employed by Xamarin, a software company, and Microsoft. Koffi was hired by YouTube in November 2018.