The Vallejo Police Department have announced that on early Tuesday morning a police officer shot and killed a man who was suspected of looting a Walgreens Pharmacy. Police say they officer mistakenly identified a hammer tucked in the suspect’s sweatshirt as a gun.
Police Chief Shawny Williams identified the man as 22-year-old San Francisco resident Sean Monterrosa during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Williams says police were called to the Walgreens on the 1000 block of Redwood Street just after midnight on June 2.
When they arrived, according to police, around 10-12 suspects jumped into two cars and fled the scene. One man, later identified as Monterrosa, was running towards one of the cars before stopping to take a knee.
“This individual appeared to be running toward the black sedan but suddenly stopped, taking a kneeling position and placing his hands above his waist, revealing what appeared to be the butt of a handgun,” Williams said.
“Investigations later revealed that the weapon was a long, 15-inch hammer tucked into the pocket of his sweatshirt. Due to this perceived threat, one officer fired his weapon five times from within the police vehicle through the windshield, striking the suspect once, fatally wounding the suspect.”
The officer who shot his weapon, as well as the officers who witnessed the incident, are all on paid leave.
The Vallejo Police and the Solano County District Attorney’s Office are conducting a joint criminal investigation.
A GoFundMe to cover Monterrosa’s funeral costs had already raised over $35,000 in the first 24 hours.
“Sean was shot and killed by Vallejo PD,” the description says. “We now have civil rights and police brutality attorney, John Burris taking on the case. Half of the fund will go towards funeral arrangements and the other will go towards legal fees. Justice will be served for Sean.”