What we know about the Paul Pelosi attack

(NewsNation) — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi was attacked in their San Francisco home Friday morning in an assault that sent him to the hospital with a fractured skull.

Police have not yet released a motive for the attack, but San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said it was not a “random” attack and was committed “intentionally.”

Nancy Pelosi sent the following letter to her fellow members of the House:

“Yesterday morning, a violent man broke into our family home, demanded to confront me and brutally attacked my husband Paul,” Pelosi wrote. “Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our Pop.”

What happened?

An intruder wielding a hammer smashed his way through a rear door into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco shortly before 2:30 a.m. Friday. The man confronted Paul Pelosi and shouted, “Where is Nancy?” according to a person familiar with the situation who was granted anonymity to discuss it.

Paul Pelosi called 911 himself and when police arrived they found him struggling with the assailant. The man managed to strike Pelosi at least once with the hammer before he was tackled by officers and arrested, police said.

Scott said the assailant ripped the hammer out of Pelosi’s hand and then beat him with it.

Police said it did not appear that Paul Pelosi was able to “speak freely” while on the phone with 911, according to The Washington Post.

Nancy Pelosi was in Washington at the time of the attack.

What is Paul Pelosi’s condition?

He underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, and his doctors expect a full recovery, the speaker’s office said Friday. There were no updates on his condition Saturday.

Nancy Pelosi arrived in San Francisco late Friday. Her motorcade was seen arriving at the hospital where her husband was being treated.

Paul Pelosi Jr. told Fox News on Saturday that it was “so far, so good” when it came to the condition of his father.


David DePape, 42, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and burglary, police said.

DePape was expected to be charged next week with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse and burglary. After his arrest, he was taken to a hospital, where he remained as of Friday evening.

DePape posted frequently on social media, often making racist and rambling comments that included questioning the results of the 2020 election, defending former President Donald Trump and echoing QAnon conspiracy theories.

David DePape is shown in Berkeley, California, on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. An intruder attacked and severely beat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer in the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, while searching for the Democratic leader. Police were called to the home to check on Paul Pelosi when they discovered the 82-year-old and the suspect, DePape, both grabbing onto the hammer, said Police Chief William Scott. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

A two-decade resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, he was known locally as a pro-nudity activist who had picketed naked at protests against laws requiring people to be clothed in public.

He grew up in Powell River, British Columbia, before following an older girlfriend to California. He has three children with two women. Stepfather Gene DePape said the suspect had lived with him in Canada until he was 14 and had been a quiet boy.

“He was reclusive,” said Gene DePape. “He was never violent.”


Scott, the San Francisco police chief, said the attack was not a random act. “This was intentional,” he said.

Police didn’t immediately confirm a motive, but three people with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that the assailant targeted Pelosi’s home.

The FBI and Capitol Police are also part of the joint investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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