Northern California officer fired over 2020 deadly shooting
VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — A police officer who in 2020 fired a rifle five times through the windshield of an unmarked police vehicle, fatally shooting a San Francisco Bay Area man, was fired last week for violating several police department policies, authorities said.
The Vallejo police officer who fatally shot Sean Monterrosa in June 2020 was terminated on Oct. 3 after an independent third-party investigation determined he violated several department policies, including using deadly force that was not objectively reasonable, failing to de-escalate the situation and failing to activate his body-worn camera in a timely manner, the Vallejo Police Department said in a statement.
The department said it was not naming the officer because of an order issued by a Solano County judge. Monterrosa’s family and Melissa Nold, a civil rights attorney who has been advising the family, identified the terminated officer as Jarrett Tonn.
The Vallejo Police Officers Association did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Police said they initially thought Monterrosa, 22, was carrying a handgun in his waistband. But he actually had a hammer in the pocket of a sweatshirt he was wearing.
Officers in two unmarked police cars were responding to reports of suspects stealing from a pharmacy amid national protests over the killing of George Floyd when the shooting occurred.
Video released by the Vallejo Police Department a month after the shooting shows Tonn firing from the backseat of the moving vehicle that was carrying three officers, including him. Monterrosa was killed after being shot once in the head.
Michelle Monterrosa, Sean Monterrosa’s sister, said Wednesday that the family is grateful the officer was terminated.
“We recognize that this is a milestone and are grateful the (police) chief stood his ground,” Monterrosa said.
She said the family is hopeful Attorney General Rob Bonta, who began reviewing the investigation last year, “will bring those charges forward and uncover a culture of corruption at the department.”
The windshield, considered a key piece of evidence, was destroyed, leading city officials to seek a criminal investigation into how that happened. Bonta took the case after Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams recused herself.
Bonta’s office said Wednesday that their review of the investigation is ongoing.
The Vallejo Police Department has come under repeated criticism in other cases as well.
In July 2020, Police Chief Shawny Williams said he was starting an independent investigation after two people in the department said officers had their badges bent to mark on-duty killings.
The department has had several other controversial slayings by police, including that of Willie McCoy, 20, of Suisun City, in February 2019. McCoy was killed after he fell asleep with a gun in his lap in his car in a Taco Bell drive-thru. Six Vallejo officers fired 55 shots.