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Police Kill Unarmed 22-Year-Old, Who Was On His Knees With His Hands Up In California

Police in northern California has shot and killed an unarmed 22-year-old man who was on his knees with his hands up outside a Walgreens store.

An officer in the city of Vallejo was inside his car when he shot Sean Monterrosa on Monday night amid local and national protests against police brutality. Police said an officer mistakenly believed Monterrosa had a gun but later determined he had a hammer in his pocket.

The killing of Monterrosa, who was a San Francisco resident, has sparked intense outrage in the Bay Area, particularly in the city of Vallejo, a city with a long history of police violence and excessive force complaints. 

In a news conference on Wednesday, two days after the killing, police chief Shawny Williams said officers were responding to a call of possible looting at the pharmacy shortly after midnight when an officer in a cruiser drove up and saw a dozen people in the parking lot getting into a car. A second officer in an unmarked car drove up and found Monterrosa, who was still on the scene, who then kneeled down and started to raise his hands. At this point, the police chief said, this officer “perceived a threat” and fired five shots through his window at Monterosso. Sadly Monterrosa died at the hospital.

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