sean monterrosa killed
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Sean Monterrosa Shot & Killed by California Police at Bay Area Protest

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. 

 The Solano District Attorney said they would be investigating the fatal shootingMercury 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.”

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.”

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. 

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.