Piece of evidence in Vallejo police of Sean Monterrosa shooting destroyed
VALLEJO — A windshield that was a key piece of evidence in a fatal shooting by a San Francisco Bay Area police detective was destroyed and city officials are seeking a criminal investigation into how that happened, a newspaper reported.
The Vallejo detective fired from inside a police vehicle and through the windshield while responding to a report of people stealing merchandise from a store on June 2 during a night of demonstrations against police brutality and killings of Black people.
The detective killed Sean Monterrosa, 22, who was found to have a hammer and not a gun, authorities said.
The city manager’s office said in a statement late Wednesday that the windshield was destroyed and the unmarked police vehicle was put back into service “without prior consultation with the police chief or the city attorney’s office,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
A police employee, who was not identified, was placed on administrative leave while the city retains an outside investigator to conduct the administrative investigation into destruction of evidence, the city said.
The city also was seeking to have the destruction of the windshield included in the shooting investigation. The city said it was also in contact with the FBI.
Police have released body camera video showing the shooting, in which the detective fires a rifle from the back seat of the pickup.
An attorney for the Monterrosa family, Melissa Nold, told the Chronicle that after the video release she inquired whether the truck had been preserved as evidence and received word from the city attorney’s office that police repaired it and “didn’t preserve” the windshield.
“This is evidence in a homicide case. It should have been preserved in whole, but at the very bare, bare minimum, certainly the windshield itself,” she said.
The Chronicle also reported that Police Chief Shawny Williams said he has amended the account of the shooting because the initial narrative was not accurate.
The original account described Monterrosa being on his knees and raising his arms, “revealing what appeared to be the butt of a handgun,” when the officer fired.
In the new account, the chief said last week that Monterrosa was “turning towards the officers in a crouching down, half-kneeling position, as if in preparation to shoot.”
Williams said a detective saw Monterrosa “move his hands toward his waist area, and grab what appeared to be the butt of a handgun.”