Man shot and killed by Martinez police while fleeing, attorney says

A man was shot and killed, and his brother was wounded, when Martinez police opened fire at their fleeing car outside a cannabis dispensary, the family's attorney said Thursday.

The shooting happened outside Velvet Cannabis on Sunrise Drive near Pacheco Boulevard in the early morning hours of August 18.

"Unfortunately they bore the brunt of what appears to be the officers' rash, unlawful decision to try to stop a car by using deadly force," said civil rights attorney Adante Pointer.

Pointer said there was no need for four officers to open fire, killing Tahmon Wilson, 20, and injuring his older brother.

The officers "sent a hail of bullets from the rear into the car striking two brothers, hitting one twice in the back, almost taking his life," Pointer said.

Martinez police say Wilson, while behind the wheel of a blue Infiniti, hit an officer and then drove toward others, leading four officers to open fire.

Pointer said Wilson died from a gunshot wound to the back of his head. His brother, Tommy Wilson Jr., 22, was shot in the back but survived.

"Gone far too soon in such a tragic way, unnecessarily taken not only from his family and friends, but also the community," Pointer said of Tahmon Wilson.

State attorney General Rob Bonta is now investigating because the driver was not armed with a gun. 

Michael Rains, a Martinez police union attorney, has said the car should be considered a weapon.

But Pointer countered, "A paper clip can be considered a weapon depending upon how it's used. The point is, the car was not being used as a weapon when those officers shot the car as it was driving away from them down the street."

Tahmon Wilson has had previous brushes with the law.

Last November, San Francisco police say Wilson was among several arrested and guns and watches were seized during raids targeting a gang linked to shootings, armed robberies and auto burglaries. But the case against him in Contra Costa County Superior Court was dismissed. Wilson did have a weapons case pending in San Francisco.

In a video statement over the weekend, Martinez Police Chief Andrew White said he will coordinate with the AG's office as to the release of body-camera footage. 

"The use of deadly force by a police officer is understandably concerning. I appreciate that you have questions regarding what exactly occurred. And so do I," White said.

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and