A police shooting may provide a dangerous new spark to a community already on edge.
It was revealed in a Wednesday press conference that a Hispanic man was kneeling when a Vallejo police officer shot and killed him. The shooting early Tuesday morning happened as police tried to stop looters at a Walgreens after an hours-long crime spree.
Wednesday’s updates comes after two nights of violence and destruction in the city. Some people fear this could cause even more violence in the Solano County city, while others are begging the community to protest, but do so peacefully.
The Vallejo police news conference was abruptly cut short due to an angry crowd.
Sean Monterrosa from San Francisco has been identified as the 22-year-old Hispanic man fatally shot by police. Vallejo police said he started running toward a car that just rammed into a police unit and appeared to be armed.
“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 a handgun,” Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams said.
Turns out it was not a gun.
Monterrosa had a 15-inch hammer tucked into his pocket of his sweatshirt.
“Due to the perceived threat, one officer fired his weapon five times from within the police vehicle through the windshield, striking the suspect once,” Williams said.
Vallejo was already a community divided after the shooting death of a young black man just last year.
Willie McCoy, a 20-year-old rap artist, was asleep in his car at a Taco Bell drive-thru when six Vallejo police officer shot him to death.
For Kalicia Seymour, with the Vallejo Towards Peace group, police shootings are personal. She said police shot her uncle several years ago and nearly killed him.
“It’s really traumatic. It’s really sad to see people of our race and community being killed by that,” Seymour said.
Meanwhile, concrete barricades surround the Vallejo Police Department. City buildings and businesses remain boarded up and closed while the city braces for another night of violence.
“To people that are protesting, to people that are looting, we all need to take a second to recoup and take a step back to think about why we are doing this, who we are fighting for,” said Michaela Evuen Vallejo Towards Peace.
Police are not releasing the name of the officer involved in the shooting, but said he is an 18-year veteran.