VALLEJO, Calif. - The Vallejo police department shot and killed a 22-year-old San Francisco man early Tuesday morning suspected of looting. The victim, identified as Sean Monterrosa, had a hammer in his waist that police say they thought was a gun.
The incident unfolded outside of the Walgreens store on Redwood Street and Broadway. Officers who responded were returning to the store for the third time in about a two-hour timespan.
Officers in an unmarked police vehicle reported that some of the suspected looters were leaving in multiple vehicles. The second vehicle leaving rammed a responding unit, injuring the officer and disabling the police cruiser.
Vallejo police chief Shawny Williams said a looting suspect, later identified as Monterrosa, was seen with the hammer in his pants. Monterrosa had his hands above his waist, according to Williams.
An officer inside of a police vehicle shot his service weapon five times at Monterrosa through the windshield. Monterrosa was struck once.
Williams made a point to lay out Monterrocondsa's criminal history, including prior shoplifting arrests, but did not condemn the actions of the officer who mistook the hammer for a gun.
While the Tuesday night protests around the Bay Area were mostly peaceful, community frustrations in Vallejo remained high. The Vallejo police department called in multiple outside agencies Tuesday night to assist with the unrest.
Williams did not identify the officer who shot and killed the 22-year-old. He did say he was an 18-year veteran of the department.
"I would say it's always a tragedy when an officer has to use force," said Williams. "The officers reacted to a perceived threat," he continued.
Members of the community expressed their outrage at the chief, who wouldn't answer if the officer's actions were excessive, before concluding the press conference.