A Vallejo police detective who fired the gun that killed 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa during civil unrest at a Walgreens in June 2020 has been fired following the conclusion of a third-party investigation into the incident.
The Vallejo Police Department issued a five-sentence announcement about the officer's termination, as NBC Bay Area reports, declining to give the officer's name "due to an order issued by the Solano County Courts."
But as KPIX reports, and as we know from covering this story for two years, the fired officer was Det. Jarrett Tonn. We learned in December that Tonn had been on paid leave and that the department was moving to fire him, and the third-party investigation that came to the negative conclusion about Tonn's use of deadly force was concluded back in December.
The department said the termination was for violation of department policy, and that the use of deadly force on the night of June 2, 2020 was "not objectively reasonable." Tonn also failed to attempt any de-escalation, they said, and failed to activate his body-worn camera in time.
The department released what body-camera video they had from the incident back in July 2020. Monterrosa, who along with some friends was found outside a Walgreens that was being looted with a hammer in his waistband, reportedly dropped to his knees — or one knee — as police descended on the building. The footage only showed an officer in the backseat of a police vehicle aim a high-powered rifle and fire five rounds through the front windshield before the vehicle had even come to a stop. Other footage showed only the aftermath of the shooting and life-saving measures being attempted.
An officer, possibly Tonn, is heard on one video after firing shots saying, "What did he point at us?" and then "Hey, he pointed a gun at us!" Other portions of the footage had no audio at all.
Monterrosa couldn't even be seen in the video, and no video has been released clearly showing what the officers could see as they arrived. As civil rights attorney Melissa Nold said at the time, "They shoot and kill somebody and then they turn the cameras on."
Tonn was reportedly an 18-year veteran of the Vallejo PD, which has been characterized as trigger-happy for a number of years now.
Previously, the Vallejo PD fired Officer Ryan McMahon over the February 2019 fatal shooting of Willie McCoy — another case in which the threat to officers was highly dubious.
Monterrosa's family filed a civil rights suit against the department in 2020, and it became quickly known that the department had already destroyed a key piece of evidence — the windshield through which Tonn fired his shots.
The Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams tried to recuse herself in both the McCoy and Monterrosa shootings, citing her relationship with the police department, but then Attorney General Xavier Becerra rejected that request.
Monterrosa, a carpenter who grew up in San Francisco's Mission District, has been honored by several murals in the neighborhood.
Monterrosa's family issued a statement Tuesday following the PD's announcement, saying that more investigation into the department was needed, and that Tonn should have been fired immediately, not two and a half years later.
"The independent investigation established that Jarett Tonn violated departmental policy when he shot our unarmed brother through the windshield of a moving police vehicle while he attempted to surrender. This should have resulted in Tonn’s immediate termination and we are grateful for this administrative step," the statement says. "However, the investigation also unearthed evidence of serious crimes committed by Tonn and fellow officers in an attempted cover up Sean Monterrosa’s murder. After two years we continue to demand that the California DOJ under the leadership of Rob Bonta take immediate action to prosecute and hold the responsible Vallejo officers accountable for their crimes."