VALLEJO, Calif. - Vallejo police have killed 19 people since 2010, renewing calls for criminal justice reform and a request for federal oversight of the department.
None of the officers have been charged criminally for any of these shootings in the last decade, as each case was deemed justified because officers feared for their lives. Yet, many of their families say that police have acted with excessive force and have given false accounts about why they felt the need to shoot and kill their loved ones are false.
Here is a look at who died and the officers who shot them:
NAME: Eric Walters, 46
DATE KILLED: Feb. 8, 2009
OFFICERS: Greenberg, Jensen, Poyser, Scott and Wylie
NARRATIVE: Eric Walters called 911 saying he was depressed, heavily armed and wanted to commit suicide. Police say he pointed gun at officers when they arrived. Police phoned Walters and tried to persuade him to surrender peacefully, but he came out of his garage and pointed a rifle at the officers, who responded by opening fire.
NAME: Michael White, 47
DATE KILLED: June 15, 2010
OFFICERS: Barry Boersma, Herman E. Robinson
NARRATIVE: Police said Michael White assaulted his elderly neighbor. When they tracked White down they said he was delusional and irrational. A struggle ensued. Officers said they tried several control techniques and shot White with Taser guns he continued to charge at them. He ended up dying at the hospital. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit saying he did not pose a serious threat to the officers and died after an unnecessary and prolonged exposure to being tased.
Guy Jarreau Jr.
NAME: Guy Jarreau Jr., 34
DATE KILLED: Dec. 11, 2010
OFFICER: Kent Tribble
NARRATIVE: Police say they killed Guy Jarreau Jr. because he was brandishing a firearm. His mother, Andrea Jarreau-Griffin, filed a suit against the department, claiming her son’s hands were in the air and he was shot to death making an anti-violence music video. The suit alleges that members of the film crew and friends said the officer was wearing plain clothing at the time and gave no warnings before firing his weapon.
NAME: Sherman Peacock, 45
DATE KILLED: Feb. 12, 2011
NARRATIVE: Sherman Peacock was shot and killed after police say he pointed a large-caliber revolver at officers after leading them on a low-speed chase. Police said Peacock refused to exit the vehicle for several minutes and was shot when he suddenly came out of the car with a revolver and pointed it at officers.
NAME: Peter Mestler, 53
DATE KILLED: May 24, 2012
NARRATIVE: Police say they shot Peter Mestler because he had pulled what looked like a real gun on a cabbie, his passenger and a woman walking on the street. The officers told Mestler to stop, but he reached into his jacket, pulled out the gun and refused to drop it after they told him to, police said. The officers opened fire, killing Mestler.
In the end, the weapon was a Beretta Cougar BB pistol.
NAME: Anton Barrett Sr., 41
DATE KILLED: May 28, 2012
OFFICER: Sean Kenney
NARRATIVE: Two officers assigned to look for drunken drivers saw a driver in a white Lexus driving fast without his lights on and they tried to stop him. It turned out to be Anton Barrett Sr., who led them on a chase. He fled along with his son and another passenger. The chase ended up in between two apartment buildings. Kenney ordered Barrett at gunpoint to stop and put his hands up, but he continued running at the officer, police said.
Barrett then reached into his pocket and pulled out a dark-colored metal object, which turned out to be a metal wallet. Kenney said he feared for his life and fired his gun. Barrett, who had five previous convictions, died at the hospital. Kenney was criminally cleared and started his own consulting firm.
NAME: Jared Huey, 17
DATE KILLED: June 30, 2012
OFFICERS: Kevin Bartlett, Jeremy Huff
NARRATIVE: Police believe Jared Huey had robbed a convenience store and chased him. During the chase, Huey’s Jeep crashed through the yard of a house and ran away. Police said he refused orders to show his hands and pointed a handgun at the officers. The officers opened fire, striking Huey multiple times, police said. But Huey's father, Michael Huey, said in his lawsuit that his son had been shot while his hands were in the air. Jared Huey was also yelling, "Don't shoot! No! No!" said the suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento. His family settled their wrongful death suit.
NAME: Marshall Tobin, 44
DATE KILLED: July 4, 2012
OFFICERS: Robert Kerr, Joe McCarthy
NARRATIVE: The officers responded to a domestic violence call but when the arrived, they found that Marshall Tobing had driven to Safeway. Tobin got out of the car with a gun, police said, and he appeared “distraught.” They said he refused to put his hands on his head, and they stunned him with a Taser. At that point, Tobin grabbed his own gun, and the police killed him.
NAME: Mario Demeekus Romero, 23
DATE KILLED: Sept. 2, 2012
OFFICERS: Sean Kenney, Dustin Joseph
NARRATIVE: Police on patrol thought they remembered Mario Demeekus Romero from another incident and pulled up on two men parked inside. Police said the driver got out and had a gun in hand. Both officers, Sean Kenney and Dustin Joseph, fired, killing Romero with 30 bullets and injuring his passenger. Kenney found a pellet gun in the car behind the driver’s seat. According to his obituary, everyone called Romero “Papaya.” He was a self-employed musician. He enjoyed playing football, cooking and was especially fond of Mexican food. The officers were administratively cleared. Joseph now works for the Fairfield police department.
NAME: Jeremiah Moore, 29
DATE KILLED: Oct. 21, 2012
OFFICERS: Sgt. Brett Clark, Ofc. Megan Sheridan, Ofc. Sean Kenney #620
NARRATIVE: A neighbor saw Jeremiah Moore and a friend, naked and smashing the windows of their own cars, parked in front of their house, which was on fire. Police said Moore then "appeared from the back of the interior of the house with a rifle” and placed the barrel of it on an officer’s stomach. Officer Sean Kenney saw this and fearing for his life and the life of his fellow officer, immediately discharged his firearm Moore. He died and his friend was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer, but those charges were dropped.
Jeremiah Moore’s mother said her son's disorder gave him a tendency to follow commands. Kenney was administratively and criminally cleared.
NAME: William Heinze, 42
DATE KILLED: March 20, 2013
OFFICERS: Dustin Joseph, Ritzie Tolentino, Joshua Coleman
NARRATIVE: William Heinze was wanted on burglary and narcotics warrants and had an extensive criminal history that included convictions for robbery, battery on a custodial officer, domestic violence, narcotics and being a felon in possession of a firearm, police said. Police first arrived that day after receiving reports that a man, believed to be Heinze, was pointing a rifle or shotgun at people on the street. He barricaded himself inside the house and threatened to kill himself and police if his demands weren’t met. Police fired inside the home and killed him. The officers were cleared criminally, Afterward, superiors recommended the officers receive more shooting position training.
NAME: Timothy John Walker, 40
DATE KILLED: June 4, 2013
OFFICER: Jeff Coburn
NARRATIVE: Police responded to a verbal disturbance on a boat. When Officer Jeff Coburn arrived, he said Timothy John Walker pointed a weapon at him and he fired in self-defense. The weapon Walker was carrying was a flare gun modified to be a handheld shotgun, according to police. After searching the boat, police found shotgun ammunition and a .22 caliber bolt-action rifle equipped with a silencer, police said.
Coburn was administratively cleared.
NAME: Mohammed Naas, 57
DATE KILLED: June 8, 2013
OFFICER: Sgt. Steve Darden
NARRATIVE: Mohammed Naas, who owned a computer store, was suspected of killing his wife. When Sgt. Steve Darden arrived, police said Naas pointed a handgun at the officer, prompting him to fire at Naas in self-defense, police said. Darden was administratively cleared.
NAME: Ever Ramon Martinez, 29
DATE KILLED: April 9, 2014
OFFICERS: Sgt. Steve Darden, Ofc. Joe McCarthy
NARRATIVE: Ever Ramon Martinez was shot and killed following a high-speed vehicle pursuit that started in North Vallejo and ended about five miles away in the Mi Pueblo Food Center parking lot on Solano Avenue. Police said two officers opened fire on Martinez after he collided with their patrol cars and became locked under the bumper of one of them.
As Martinez tried to speed away, police said he spun around in such an erratic fashion that he risked hitting a civilian vehicle which contained a father and his children. After Martinez failed to obey the officers” commands to stop, police said the officers used deadly force. One of the officers thought Martinez had a gun so he shot five founds. But Martinez did not have a gun. The officers were administratively cleared.
NAME: Philip Conley, 37
DATE KILLED: March 21, 2015
OFFICER: Jason Bahou
NARRATIVE: Police said they responded to a call of a man throwing a beer bottle at a car and wielding a knife. When the officer arrived, Philip Conley allegedly had a firearm in his waistband and was ordered to drop the knife but did not comply and advanced on the officer, according to police. The officer fired his gun and killed him. Inside the truck was a letter where Conley “apologized to the police that were forced to end his life,” according to the press release sent out on that day. Police added that the firearm was found to be a replica gun. Bahou received no discipline and was cleared criminally.
NAME: Angel Ramos, 21
DATE KILLED: Jan. 23, 2017
OFFICER: Zachary Jacobsen
NARRATIVE: Police said Angel Ramos was seen running, drunk, onto a balcony, climbing on top of a person, making stabbing motions. Jacobsen said he felt he had to shoot his weapon to save the man’s life who was about to be stabbed. Ramos’ family and its legal team have argued Ramos wasn’t armed with a knife but was instead punching the person. The Vallejo Police Department cleared Jacobsen of any wrongdoing and he was also cleared by the Solano County DA. The board concluded Jacobsen should have activated his body-worn camera during the incident.The review board also concluded the officers on scene failed “to fully occupy and control the balcony (resulting) in officers queuing on the stairs, presenting a ‘fatal funnel’ due to the lack of cover” after the shooting.
NAME: Jeffrey Barboa, 45
DATE KILLED: Aug. 1, 2017
OFFICERS: Jake Estrada, Zachary Jacobsen, Matthew Komoda, Stephanie McDonough, David McLaughlin
NARRATIVE: A license plate reader pinged Jeffrey Barboa, linking him to an El Cerrito robbery, which led to a car chase on Interstate 80. He crashed and got out of the car with a sword. Two officers testified at the inquest hearing that Barboa was screaming, “Kill me,” as he walked toward police. Police opened fire and killed him. Officers were criminally cleared but received small administrative penalties for the tactics they used and decision-making failures.
NAME: Ronnell D. Foster, 33
DATE KILLED: Feb. 13, 2018
OFFICER: Ryan McMahon
NARRATIVE: Police officer Ryan McMahon stopped Ronnell Foster who was riding his bike without a headlamp to “educate the public on the dangers” of bicycling without a light. McMahon said Foster reached for his flashlight, causing him to fear for his life and therefore, he opened fire on Foster, killing him. Foster’s legal team said he grabbed for his flashlight to prevent him from being beaten by the officer. McMahon was ordered to take a three-day safety course and was eventually cleared to return to duty. The Solano County DA said McMahon was justified in shooting Foster. In September, a jury awarded Foster’s family a $5.7 million award in his wrongful death suit.
NAME: Willie McCoy, 20
DATE KILLED: Feb. 2, 2019
OFFICERS: Ryan McMahon, Colin Eaton, Bryan Glick, Anthony Romero-Cano, Jordan Patzer, Mark Thompson
NARRATIVE: Six officers fired 55 times at Willie McCoy, after he slumped forward in the driver’s seat of his car, where he sat with a pistol in his lap in the drive-thru lane of a Taco Bell. McCoy appeared to be unconscious and did not move until moments before the shooting. When he woke up, police shot him as he did not immediately drop his weapon. The department recommended that Ryan McMahon, the Vallejo officer who fired once as five of his colleagues peppered McCoy with gunfire, was recommended to be fired after an investigation determined he could have accidentally shot his partner. His termination is still pending. None of the officers were criminally charged. A wrongful death suit has been filed in this case, which also asks for federal oversight of the police force.
NAME: Sean Monterrosa, 22
DATE KILLED: June 2, 2020
OFFICER: Jarrett Tonn
NARRATIVE: During a George Floyd protest outside a Walgreens, police said they thought Monterrosa had gun in his pocket when Officer Jarrett Tonn fatally struck him with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle from the backseat of a police pickup truck.
The “weapon” turned out to be a hammer. His family is suing Tonn of panicking and killing Monterrosa for not yelling out that he would be using lethal force and without provocation. Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris called Tonn “a trigger-happy officer and potentially a homicidal officer” who is “clearly not a person who should be in a Black and brown community” doing police work.
Simone Aponte is an investigative producer for KTVU. Email Simone at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @SimoneAponte