Vallejo police shot, killed 22-year-old on his knees after mistaking hammer for gun

ABC7 News, June 3, 2020

At the time he was shot, Monterrosa was on his knees, the police chief said.

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) — The Vallejo Police Department gave details Wednesday on an officer-involved shooting that left one person dead on Tuesday morning at 12:30 a.m.

22-year-old Sean Monterrosa was shot and killed by an unnamed officer. Chief Shawny Williams said the officer believed Monterrosa had a gun in his pocket, but it ended up being a 15-inch hammer.

At the time he was shot, Monterrosa was on his knees, Williams said.

The incident started at a Walgreens where officers say they saw two carloads of suspected looters who drove away from the scene. Officers chased the two cars. When they came across Monterrosa, they believed he was trying to get into one of the suspect vehicles.

The officer fired his weapon five times through the windshield of his patrol car. One round hit Monterrosa, killing him.

The department hasn’t released body camera or dash camera footage.

RELATED: Fatal Vallejo officer-involved shooting following Monday night looting

Chief Williams said Monterrosa was a San Francisco resident with a criminal record.

I-TEAM reporter Melanie Woodrow spoke with the victim’s family late Tuesday night who confirmed their son was shot and killed.

“I know this person was transported to the hospital but I don’t know this person’s condition,” said Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan. “I want our residents to know that whatever happened will be reported that it will be open and transparent.”

The city of Vallejo has since implemented an 8 p.m. curfew after Monday night’s looting, officer-involved shooting and someone setting fire inside City Hall.

In a Tuesday press conference addressing the fire that caused City Hall to close, Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams said he’s never experienced something like this before.

“In 27 years of service I’ve never experienced anything like what I experienced last night in the city of Vallejo,” said Chief Williams.

“This was a coordinated attack by organized individuals seeking to cause destruction and harm to our community,” he continued.

“I understand and I believe in the public’s right of protest of expressing your first amendment rights about the heinous murder of George Floyd but when it comes to the destruction of private and public property I don’t understand how that brings about the change people are asking for,” said Mayor Bob Sampayan.