Vallejo Police shared the footage of the shooting of Monterrosa, who died at age 22 near a Walgreens Pharmacy in Vallejo, California. The fatal shooting occurred on June 2.
Police posted footage of the shooting on their official Twitter and Facebook pages on July 8.
— VallejoPD (@VallejoPd) July 8, 2020
The full video can be seen here:
Vallejo Police issued an official statement regarding the incident, which reads,
On June 2, 2020, an officer-involved shooting occurring at the Walgreens located on the 1000 Block of Redwood St. in Vallejo resulted in the death of 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa. Mr. Monterrosa’s death was a tragic loss of life, and we understand that the incident has raised many questions in our community, particularly in view of George Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests and civil uprisings across the world…
Initial media statements have been widely inconsistent with what occurred in the early morning of June 2nd.
As the Solano County District Attorney’s Office, the Vallejo Police Department Detective Division, and the OIR Group move forward with investigations of the officer-involved shooting, we are committed to providing residents with as much information as possible without compromising the investigations. The Vallejo City Council has also requested that the California Attorney General’s Office conduct an independent criminal investigation. (While a request from the Solano County District Attorney’s Office for an independent review has been declined, the City of Vallejo continues to anticipate a response from the Attorney General’s Office.)
Here’s what you need to know.
The Video Shows the Body Cam Footage of the Officers Involved in the Incident
Vallejo PD arrived in unmarked vehicles and immediately began shooting at Sean Monterossa through their windshield.
Firing Officer: What did he point at us?
Firing Officer: Hey, he pointed a gun at us!
Video sound starts about :24 because of body cam settings. Another thing. pic.twitter.com/lHmEDSzV2B
— WineCaveNews (@WineCaveNews1) July 9, 2020
The 13-minute video released by the police shows the moments leading up to the shooting and the shooting itself. Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams explains at the beginning of the video the incident occurred in the early hours of June 2 following “a day of largely peaceful protests across the Bay Area. But at night, there were a significant number of lootings, vehicle pursuits and shootings in multiple cities, including Vallejo.
“At about 10:50 on the night of June 1st, our officers responded to a called looting at the Walgreens at Redwood and Broadway. The drive-thru window was smashed, we made multiple arrests and moved on to other calls.
“Just after midnight, an officer observed another group of looters at the same Walgreens. A police captain … and three detectives … responded.”
He said as they were driving into the parking lot, the captain observed one of the individuals was possibly armed and broadcast this over the radio. The looters were in the process of fleeing when the officer-involved shooting occurred.
One of the detectives described who he believed was Sean Monterrosa turning to the officers in a half-kneeling position, as if in preparation to shoot. Detectives then saw Monterrosa move his hands to his waist area and grab what appeared to be the butt of a handgun, but what was in fact a hammer.
At 3:21 an officer identified as the detective can be heard in the video saying, “we got shots fired.” The captain then says “shots fired at Walgreens Vallejo, suspect down.”
The captain says “my car got rammed by another vehicle, it should have heavy damage.”
The video goes on to say the name of the man who discharged his weapon cannot be released for legal reasons. However, Heavy reported in June that the man was identified as Officer Jarrett Tonn.
Body-worn camera footage, identified as “Body-Worn Camera: Detective #1” in the captions, can be seen from the 4:50 mark. At 5.20, a detective is heard to say, “he pointed a gun at us,” and others say “do not move.” At the 5.48 mark, a body is seen on the ground.
The second detective’s body camera footage also shows a clear image of a man on the ground at around 6.48. The second detective is heard to say, “we had multiple vehicles take off at the same time. This guy had a gun.”
The captions also say none of the cameras showed Monterrosa prior to the discharge of the weapon, and that “detective #3 discharged his service weapon from the back seat of the pickup truck.”
At 8.03, the detectives approach the man on the ground while holding weapons, saying “put your hands up … put your hands out,” and “roll him over, cuff him.”
One can be heard saying “f**kin stupid … get a med kit out of our car in the back.”
One of the detectives (identified as detective #3 by the body cam footage/ captions) then says, “I’m downing my gun, it’s live,” as he frantically calls out for a medical kit. He then curses again. He heads to his car before returning back to the other detectives and the man on the ground. His continued exasperated groans can be heard at 9.10.
At 9.10, he says, “he f**king came around, came right at us.” The police then begin to administer CPR to the man.
“Detective #3” then says, “we’re good for medics, right?” He asks where the man is hit.
“He’s bleeding from the back of the head,” he says. “It is what it is right now.”
At 11.20, the detective says, “this is not what I f**king needed tonight… I thought that f**king axe was a gun.”
At 11.30 another officer says, “I thought he was armed too, dude,” before telling the other officer to “calm down, take some deep breaths.”
“You’ll be alright, man. You’ve been through this before. Just take deep breaths, calm down.”
The captions then go on to state Monterrosa was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Monterrosa ‘had a Criminal History,’ Police Say
Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams said at a press conference on June 4 that Monterrosa’s criminal history included shoplifting, petty theft, illegal weapons violations, assault with a deadly weapon, shooting into an inhabited dwelling, carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle, possession of narcotics for sale and attempted murder.
Williams described the night of Monterrosa’s death as “a horrific night, something we haven’t seen in 27 years. It was an orchestrated, organized assault on our city.”
Reporters on the scene expressed their disbelief that Monterrosa was shot by an officer while on his knees.
A protest was held after the conference. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Megan Cassidy reported on Twitter, “peaceful protest beginning on steps outside #Vallejo city hall, two hours after police Chief Williams talked about fatal police shooting of Sean Monterrosa, 22. Monterrosa was on his knees when officer fired 5 shots through his windshield early Tuesday morning.”
Peaceful protest beginning on steps outside #Vallejo city hall, two hours after police Chief Williams talked about fatal police shooting of Sean Monterrosa, 22. Monterrosa was on his knees when officer fired 5 shots through his windshield early Tuesday morning. pic.twitter.com/LhIPy0m9g9
— Megan Cassidy (@meganrcassidy) June 4, 2020
Tonn and the other officers involved were placed on paid administrative leave following the incident. Heavy reported in June that Tonn had a history of violence, and had fired his weapon while on duty three times since 2015. Vallejo police have not officially identified Tonn or the other officers involved.