Vallejo officer fatally shoots 22-year-old after hammer mistaken as gun

Bay Area

VALLEJO, Calif. (KRON/AP) — The police chief of the Vallejo Police Department said an officer shot and killed a 22-year-old man during a night of violence because he thought the man had a gun in his waistband.

Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams says Sean Monterrosa of San Francisco was killed outside of a Walgreens store shortly after 12:30 a.m. Tuesday as several people described as looting suspects tried to flee arriving police.

“I would say that it’s always a tragedy any time an officer has to use force. My condolences to his family. It is a difficult thing that happened,” Chief Shawny Williams said.

Sean Monterossa (via GoFundMe)

Chief Williams told reporters Wednesday that his officers responded to the Walgreens parking lot in the 1000 block of Redwood Street after receiving calls about possibly looting taking place at the pharmacy.

Two cars fled the scene when officers arrived but Monterrosa was not in one of the cars. He turned toward officers kneeling on the pavement as if he was preparing to shoot, according to Williams.

“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 hand gun,” Williams said.

The chief says it was at this time that an officer sitting in an unmarked police cruiser fired his weapon through the windshield. Chief Williams did not identify the officer who fired his weapon, but said he is an 18-year veteran.

An investigation later revealed Monterrosa did not have a handgun but instead a 15 inch hammer tucked into the pocket of his sweatshirt.

“The district attorneys office will investigate this and decide whether or not this is a legal shooting or not,” Williams said.

A GoFundMe page for Monterossa describes him as “a wonderful son, brother, friend who touched the lives of those around him.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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