Outer Hearing officer recommends Vallejo officer who killed Sean Monterrosa not be fired


VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) — Thursday marks two years since a Vallejo police officer shot and killed Sean Monterrosa outside a Walgreens. Police Chief Shawny Williams has previously stated his intention to fire the officer who fired the fatal shots, but now an outside hearing officer has recommended otherwise.

Coinciding with the second anniversary of the murder and shooting of Officer Jarrett Tonn on Monterrosa, Chief Williams must now decide whether to accept, reject or vary the findings of an external hearing officer who concluded that Tonn does not should not be fired.

Attorney Mike Rains does not represent Tonn but represents other Vallejo police officers. He says his understanding comes from several officers familiar with the latest developments.

“This report from the external hearing officer is essentially a recommendation to the chief of police,” Rains said.

RELATED: Vallejo PD’s Use of Force Not Objectively Reasonable in Sean Monterrosa’s Death, Inquest Finds

Monterrosa’s sisters, Michelle and Ashley, remain hopeful that Chief Williams will stick to his original intention to fire Tonn.

“Well, I think we hope he continues to push for his dismissal at the end of the day,” Michelle Monterrosa said.

On June 2, Tonn shot and killed Monterrosa from the back seat of an unmarked police vehicle, firing five times through the windshield with one bullet hitting Monterrosa in the back of the head. Monterrosa was outside a Walgreens where there had been looting. After the shooting, Vallejo police said Monterrosa was crouched in a half-kneeling position, moving his hands to his waist, revealing what appeared to be the butt of a handgun. It turned out to be a hammer.

RELATED: The Monterrosa sisters have turned ‘pain into goal’ in the last year since their brother was killed by a Vallejo officer

The Vallejo Police Department had never publicly named Tonn, but he is named in a civil lawsuit filed by Monterrosa’s parents against the town of Vallejo and Tonn.

In December, the I-Team obtained a copy of Chief Williams’ planned disciplinary notice from Tonn.

In it, Chief Williams refers to this exchange between Tonn and another officer where Tonn asks, “What did he point to us?” Another officer responds, “I don’t know the man.” Tonn then yells, “Hey, he pointed a gun at us.”

The chief writes in his letter of intent to discipline “…you didn’t even have a firm belief that Mr. Monterrosa was armed. You even admitted to investigators later that you weren’t sure.”

RELATED: Family speak out after Vallejo police mistake hammer for gun and fire, killing 22-year-old

ABC7 News asked the Vallejo Police Department if Chief Williams has made a final decision on Tonn’s firing. In an email, a police spokesperson wrote, “The city and police department are unable to speak to matters relating to peace officer personnel.

The city attorney’s office also told ABC7 News it could not discuss personnel matters.

More than disciplinary action, the Monterrosa family wants criminal proceedings to be initiated.

“Time and time again in this country, in California, we see that no officer is held accountable or held accountable for their actions,” said Ashley Monterrosa.

After Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams withdrew from the case, Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that the Department of Justice would conduct an independent review.

RELATED: District Attorney Explains Why She Refused to Investigate Fatal Vallejo Police Shootings

Despite all their advocacy work, the Monterrosa sisters know their brother would be proud, but it’s this question that brings Michelle to tears.

“It’s emotional because it’s like what would he say? He should be there to tell us,” Michelle Monterrosa said.

The two say they are now working on developing an identity separate from their loss.

“Rediscovering who we were before June 2,” said Ashley Monterrosa.

On Thursday evening, they will hold a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. at the Walgreens at 1050 Redwood Street, the very place where Sean Monterrosa took his last breath.

In a statement emailed to ABC7 News, Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams wrote, “The heartbreak of heartbreak is endless because it stems from love. I can only imagine the pain to lose a son, brother and family member is beyond comprehension and I would like to express my deepest condolences to Sean’s parents, sisters and family.

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