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Vallejo Police officer shoots, kills man after mistaking hammer for gun

Officers were responding to reports of looting at a Walgreens pharmacy before the shooting occurred.

VALLEJO, Calif. — A San Francisco man was shot and killed by a police officer in Vallejo on Tuesday after investigators say the officer mistook a hammer in the victim’s waistband for a gun.

According to the report, the shooting happened just after midnight on June 2 as two units of officers responded to reports of looting at a Walgreens pharmacy near Redwood Street and Broadway.

The first unit arrived and got involved in a pursuit with two vehicles seen fleeing from the pharmacy with as many as 12 “potential looters” inside, investigators said. At the same time, a second police unit arrived at the pharmacy and said they spotted another man, later identified as 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa, dressed in a black hoodie at the east side of the building, running toward a black car.

Suddenly, according to police, Monterrosa stopped, turned toward the officers, got into a kneeling position, and moved his hands toward his waist area. One officer thought he could see the butt of a gun in Monterrosa’s waistband and that is when investigators say the officer fired five shots through the windshield of his police vehicle.

Monterrosa was struck at least once and was mortally wounded. The officers would soon learn the “gun butt” the officer thought he saw was actually a 15-inch hammer.

Monterrosa was taken to the hospital where he eventually succumbed to his injuries.

The officer who shot Monterrosa has been placed on routine, paid administrative leave as the Vallejo Police Department and the Solano County District Attorney’s office conduct a joint investigation. That officer has not been identified.

Neither dashboard camera video nor body camera video from this incident has been released at this time.

VPD OIS Press Conference

Posted by Vallejo Police Department on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

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