Who is Sean Monterrosa? SF resident shot while Kneeling
Sean Monterrosa is a 22-year-old man who was shot dead in the early in the morning of June 2nd by a police officer near a Walgreens Pharmacy in Vallejo, California. Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams during a tense press conference on Wednesday, June 3rd said police were first called to the Walgreens at 10:17 p.m. on June 1 amid reports of looting. At 12:15 a.m., officers received a second call indicating that looters had returned to the Walgreens and were attempting to break into the pharmacy.
Officers arrived on the scene and reported a crowd of 10 to 12 people in the parking lot at 12:36 a.m. Officers then observed the crowd filing into two vehicles, a silver truck and a black sedan. Police claim that the black sedan then rammed into the unmarked cruiser, injuring the officer inside, before speeding out of the parking lot behind the silver truck. The silver truck was apprehended shortly thereafter, Williams reported.
Sometime before the black sedan fled the scene, police say they saw Monterrosa running toward the sedan. According to Williams, Monterrosa got on his knees and lifted his hands above his waist, revealing a 15-inch hammer in his sweatshirt pocket which an officer mistook for a gun. The officer then fired five times through the windshield of the police vehicle and struck Monterrosa once, according to police. Monterrosa was taken to the hospital, where authorities were alerted of his death some hours later.
Sean Monterrosa Go Fund Me
A GoFundMe page was organized on behalf of Monterrosa’s to pay for the funeral and legal expenses. The family is represented by John L. Burress, a civil rights and police misconduct lawyer based in the Bay Area.
“I would say that it’s always a tragedy anytime an officer has to use force,” Williams said. “My condolences to his family. It is a difficult thing to happen, I understand that.”
According to Williams, all of the officers present at the scene have been placed on paid administrative leave while the Vallejo Police Department and Solano County District Attorney conduct a joint investigation. Williams added that the officer involved was an 18-year veteran of the police force.
Circumstances Surrounding Monterrosa’s Death Questioned
In the Thursday press conference, tensions started running high as reporters expressed incredulity that Monterrosa had been shot on his knees by an officer in a nearby vehicle. Two hours after the conference, protesters organized a demonstration outside Vallejo City Hall, according to a tweet from San Francisco Chronicle reporter Megan Cassidy.
Sean Monterrosa was killed by an Vallejo PD Officer. While on his knees.
— Mars🧚🏽♀️ (@marsonlife) June 4, 2020
“Since I’ve been here, in the city of Vallejo, we have made many changes in terms of our de-escalation policy, in terms of our body-worn camera policy, in terms of the way that we analyze and look at force, so there are many positive things that are happening in the city of Vallejo,” said Police Chief Williams.