Vallejo police video of Sean Monterrosa case doesn't show him prior to shooting

Vallejo police on Wednesday released body-cam video and police dispatch audio in the June 2 fatal police shooting of Sean Monterrosa.

The video shows an officer spraying bullets from a rifle from the back seat of an unmarked police truck as it arrives at a looted Walgreens on Redwood Street. However, the angles captured by police and released do not show Monterrosa prior to the shooting.


At a news conference, Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams said the investigation of this case is ongoing and that they are releasing as much information as they can to the public. 

They have not named the 18-year-veteran detective, who discharged his weapon in this case, as a result of a temporary restraining order granted by a judge on behalf of the Vallejo Police Officers' Association and the officer involved. 

"There is a narrative being put out there that the body-worn cameras were not on. This is not accurate. All the body-worn cameras of the officers in the pickup truck were on," said Williams. 

A police captain in an unmarked SUV and three detectives in an unmarked pickup truck responded to reports of looting at the Walgreens just after midnight the night Monterrosa, 22, was shot. 

Police said the pickup truck did not have an in-car camera. The angles shown in the video are largely hindered by the confines of the vehicle's interior. 

Police said they perceived what they thought was Monterrosa reaching for the butt of a gun while he was crouched in a half-kneeling position and reached for his waistband. The object turned out to be a 15-inch hammer. 

In the dispatch audio police can be heard saying "shots fired" and "suspect down". The captain can be heard saying his SUV was rammed by another vehicle and that it sustained "heavy damage." 

When body-cam audio kicks in, police at the scene with weapons still drawn after the shooting can be heard saying, "he pointed a gun at us." 

Video shows police rendering aid to Monterrosa in the shooting's aftermath. 

“He was struck in the head," Williams said during the news conference, adding that the body-cam video "speaks for itself."

Williams said it would be inappropriate for him to speculate on the case and draw any conclusions as it is an ongoing investigation. 

Police said an exterior security camera at the Walgreens that would have captured the vantage point of the shooting was damaged in prior looting on May 31. They shared a video from that night as part of their presentation. 

Williams said he’s committed to the sanctity of life.  

"My sincere condolences go out to the family. I know it’s a difficult time for them." 

Monterrosa's family accompanied by civil rights attorney John Burris spoke on Wednesday at a separate news conference.

Burris described the events leading up to the shooting. "Who would think that he was going to attack police officers? It's a fabrication. It's a total lie." 

Burris said Chief Williams has adopted the narrative of the police officers' union in this case and has called it a tragedy. 

In addition, they questioned the detective riding in the back seat with an AR-15 rifle.

Monterrosa's family viewed the video prior to its release. His sisters called the police department and Chief Williams liars. They have asked the chief to step down. 

"Until this day our demands were to release the footage. We barely got that today," said Ashley Monterrosa. 

During the simultaneous news conferences, Burris and the family said there was no need to use deadly force in a property crime case. 

The Solano County District Attorney has recused her office from further review of this case and has asked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office to investigate. Becerra has declined to do so.