Six Vallejo, California police officers fired at a young African-American man found asleep in his car with a gun in his lap in a Taco Bell drive-thru Feb. 9.
Initially, it was reported cops fired a total of around a dozen or so shots.
Police say he when he woke up, he was ordered to put his hands up, but they said he went for his gun so they all opened fire.
Willie McCoy, 20, an up-and-coming rapper, was killed. Now, his family’s lawyer, who examined his body, told NBC News that he was shot at least 25 times. Oakland-based attorney Melissa Nold told NBC that McCoy was hit in the “center of his face and throat and blowing off part of his ear.” He also was hit in his shoulders, chest and his arm.
Now, his family, friends, and fans are asking why.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. It’s Difficult to Count the Number of Shots Fired Based on Rapid Fire of 6 Guns. This Reporter’s Guess Was 20. It Was at Least 25
In the video, narrated by Rolly Gabun, who is recording the scene on his phone, cops can be heard saying, “Hands up, get your hands up” and then a second, or less, later, the rapid-fire shots ring out, up to 15 in total.
Dead was Willie McCoy, a 21-year-old aspiring rapper who had nodded off in a Taco Bell drive-through line on Feb. 9. at around 10:30 p.m., the Chronicle reported.
Gabun is filming from what appears to be across the street from the restaurant. He says there were seven police officers blocking the drive-thru entrance. He says he doesn’t know why the man in the car that the cops have surrounded isn’t getting out. Then, the commands are shouted and then, the shots.
“Fuck dude. Holy fuck, dude.”
After the shots, police began to yell again, “Let me see your hands.” But McCoy had already been shot by police.
“Vallejo PD really yelling commands after letting off at least 25 rounds into this guy,” one commenter on the video said.
“They just fire on that guy. Whoa.”
2. Vallejo Police Say the 6 Officers ‘Feared for Their Safety’ & So Fired More Than a Dozen Rounds in 4 Seconds
This is the statement from Vallejo police:
“At approximately 10:36 PM, the Vallejo Police Department Communications Center received a 911 call from Taco Bell employees located at 974 Admiral Callaghan Lane regarding a subject slumped over in the driver’s seat in their drive-thru. Two Vallejo Police patrol officers arrived on scene to check on the welfare of the driver. As the officers approached the vehicle they noticed the driver was unresponsive and had a handgun on his lap.
The officers performed a visual check to determine if other occupants were in the vehicle and began to formulate a plan to safely resolve the situation. The two officers decided to hold their position and did not attempt to wake the driver. Instead, they decided to wait for additional officers to arrive on scene and ensured that people in the parking lot were safe and did not approach the vehicle.
An additional patrol officer arrived on the scene and the officers elected to attempt to open the driver’s door with the intention of one officer swiftly retrieving the firearm from the subject’s lap, while another officer covered him. Unfortunately, the vehicle was locked. The officers noticed that the vehicle’s transmission was in drive. At this time, additional units arrived and the officers positioned a marked patrol vehicle in front of the subject’s vehicle to prevent forward or erratic movement.
Officers requested a Patrol Supervisor to respond to the scene for further assistance and began to position a marked Vallejo police patrol car to the rear of the subject’s vehicle.
While officers were still positioning a patrol unit to the rear of the vehicle, and waiting for the supervisor, the driver began to suddenly move and looked at the uniformed patrol officers. Officers gave the driver several commands to put his hands up. The driver did not comply and instead, he quickly moved his hands downward for the firearm.
Fearing for their safety, six officers fired their duty weapons at the driver. Officers continued to yell commands at the driver and ultimately reached through the broken glass of the driver’s window to unlock the vehicle. Officers removed the driver from the vehicle, began rendering medical assistance and attempted lifesaving efforts on the driver. Unfortunately, the driver was pronounced deceased at the scene.”
3. All 6 Officers Are on Leave Pending the Results of an Investigation. Police Say McCoy Had a Stolen Gun
Police Chief Andrew Bidou said that the death of McCoy, who he did not name, is unfortunate: “Any loss of life is a tragedy.”
Bidou said the six officers have been placed on administrative leave but added that the “investigation is still in the early stages,” he said.
In an initial statement, Vallejo police said that the gun McCoy had, a “fully loaded 40 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine inserted in the weapon” was “reported stolen out of Oregon.”
The Vallejo Police Department told authorities in Oregon that it recovered the gun.
4. McCoy is a Rapper Named Willie Bo. The Most Recent Track He Featured on His IG is ‘Glock Spit.’
In his ‘Song for You,’ with a title and sample from Joni Mitchell, the official video has been viewed on YouTube nearly 200,000 times.
5. Family, Friends & Fans Are Speaking Out
His nephew JBO Gotbandz said, “Rip uncle we gone get Justice for u ??”
Another commenter on YouTube wrote, “Why keep yelling to see his hands after you shot at him multiple times. Vallejo officers have repeatedly targeted black males so this is no surprise. They are on administrative leave right now and then things will be back to “normal ” . Unacceptable.”
According to reports, his family has questioned police officers’ actions and response and has hired a lawyer.
McCoy’s cousin told the Chronicle, “It’s a really big loss, really, really unexpected. There’s a lot of grieving going on, trying to make sense of this thing.”