VALLEJO, Calif. - A second Vallejo police lieutenant is on paid leave in connection with the destruction of a police-truck windshield in the wake of a deadly shooting by a detective, sources told KTVU.
Lt. Fabio Rodriguez, who oversees the detective division, was put on leave by Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams. The chief had previously placed Lt. Michael Nichelini, who is president of the police union, on leave.
On June 2, Detective Jarrett Tonn fired his rifle from the back seat of a moving police truck driven by another detective as they arrived outside a Walgreens that was being looted, sources said. The shots pierced the windshield of the unmarked Ford truck, killing Sean Monterrosa, 22.
Tonn mistook Monterrosa's hammer for a gun, authorities said. Monterrosa's family said he was kneeling and surrendering, but the chief said Monterrosa was crouching down, in a "half-kneeling position" and appeared to be reaching for the butt of a gun. No weapon was found.
Several days after the shooting, the truck's windshield was removed and a new window was installed, without prior approval by Williams or the city attorney. Civil rights attorney John Burris, who represents Monterrosa's family said he had hoped to conduct an independent analysis of the windshield.
Melissa Nold, an attorney who previously represented the family, suggested that the windshield removal may have been part of an effort to conceal evidence.
"How could this happen without some sort of corruption or cover-up, is going to be very hard to understand, I think, for most of us," Nold said.
But in an interview with KTVU, attorney Michael Rains, who represents the two lieutenants, said the truck and windshield were properly photographed, documented and analyzed by crime-scene technicians outside the Walgreens.
Police followed standard protocol in processing the scene, Rains said, adding, "Nobody's trying to hide anything."
"It's much ado about nothing," Rains said of the outcry over the windshield. "I think the chief has sold them out, is what I think. I think it's shameful."
Rains said Nichelini is head of fleet maintenance but had nothing to do with the decision to repair the truck.
The other lieutenant, whom Rains declined to identify by name, took the initiative to do so - but only after detectives under his command and already "gotten quotes" with respect to the repair.
Rains said those detectives are trained investigators who recognized that the windshield had already been analyzed.
The department also needed the truck back in service, Rains said.