On Tuesday morning, police shot and killed 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa from Vallejo, California, while he was kneeling and surrendering. The fatal shooting occurred around 1 a.m. on June 2, though he was declared dead several hours later.
In a news conference yesterday, Vallejo police Chief Shawny Williams said police suspected that Monterrosa was a looter and that he had a gun on his waistband. But it wasn’t a gun. It was a hammer. According to a local ABC News affiliate, Monterrosa was on his knees in front of a Walgreens when police shot him five times.
“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.
Cops in California just shot and killed a kneeling, unarmed 22-year-old Latino man, named Sean Monterrosa.
He was on the ground, kneeling. He did not have a gun (although the police falsely claimed otherwise at first). They shot him multiple timeshttps://t.co/3RpQG2PtCd
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) June 4, 2020
The Solano District Attorney said they would be investigating the fatal shooting, Mercury News reports.
I believe an independent investigation into the officer-involved shooting that occurred Tuesday must be conducted by the California Attorney General’s office or a federal agency,” Assemblyman Tim Grayson said in a news release, adding that the shooting of Monterrosa was “unacceptable.” “The family of Sean Monterrosa and our community in Vallejo deserve to have clear information about the events that occurred and the response from the Vallejo Police Department. Our community is in pain, and we must look for ways to both heal and move towards meaningful change.”
Rest in Power Sean Monterrosa. He died at age 22 yesterday after being murdered by the police because they mistook the hammer he had in his pocket for a gun. He was killed while protesting George Floyd’s murder. I have yet to see a major news outlet report his death. #RestInPower pic.twitter.com/wmfuqSB0H2
— july andrews (@transbitch) June 4, 2020
People on social media shared their thoughts about the young man and said this was a perfect example of excessive police force against unarmed black and brown men.
@sahluwal, tweeted, “This is Sean Monterrosa, he’s a 22 year old latnix man from SF. Last night, Vallejo PD murdered him after they suspected him to be a looter. They shot him 5 times while he was on his knees with his hands up, he was surrendering. He was unarmed. Say his name. Demand justice.”
— Jess 🌻 (@TheJessLyfe) June 4, 2020
Ava DuVernay, director of This Is Us, tweeted, “Sean Monterrosa. Killed by Vallejo police while kneeling on Tuesday. The officer who shot him dead aimed from inside his squad car and shot through his own windshield to strike the 22 year-old five times.
This is Sean Monterrosa. Murdered by the police, while on his knees surrendering. This cop needs to be arrested and charged with murder! Huge condolences to Sean's loved ones. I'm so sorry for your loss! #justiceforsean https://t.co/HSL4rFw4Yx
— Christina (@DaisyX_8100) June 4, 2020
Monterrosa’s family has retained the legal counsel of Bay Area attorney John Burris, a prominent civil rights lawyer. The family is requesting to see video footage from the police officer’s body cam.