A 22-year-old California man was shot and killed while kneeling after cops mistook a hammer in the man’s waistband for a gun, officials said. Vallejo Police early Tuesday morning shot and killed
On Thursday morning, Chief Shawny Williams said Sean Monterrosa, 22, was on his knees after an officer mistook the hammer for a gun and opened fire through his vehicle's windshield in the parking lot of a Walgreens. Monterrosa was shot five times.
The police chief said that it was believed Monterrosa was going into a getaway vehicle before changing his mind.
"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 handgun investigations later revealed that the weapon was a long 15-inch hammer tucked into the pocket of his sweatshirt," Chief Williams said.
The chief announced that the officer who shot at Monterrosa was an 18-year veteran of the force and his name has not been released.
"He did not see Mr. Monterrosa put his hands on it in a threatening way. So the question here is what threat if any did he actually present," attorney John Burris, who is representing the victim’s family, told reporters.
Cops say there were two vehicles which they suspected to belong to looters. One of the cars drove off and the other rammed a responding police vehicle injuring an officer, police sad.
The chief said that it will take 45 days before body cam footage of the incident is released, citing department protocol.
The chief also added that in recent years, the department has taken measures to deescalate situations. When asked by ABC7 News in San Francisco how those measures were implemented, he replied, “Well I'll say this: when they responded to the Walgreens, the intent was to stop the looting and to arrest the perpetrators if necessary. The officers reacted to a perceived threat.”
It was also announced that the district attorney and internal affairs will review the case and the the officer who fired the fatal shot has been placed on routine paid administrative leave as have the witness officers.