The family of a man who was fatally shot after he was found sleeping in a car at a Taco Bell drive-thru is accusing a group of six California police officers of acting as “judge, jury and executioner.”
Family identified the man as Willie McCoy, 20, a local rapper known as Willie Bo, The Guardian reported, and the San Francisco Chronicle reported the family has hired an attorney to investigate whether police were justified in the use of deadly force.
Six officers fired “multiple rounds” out of “fear for their own safety” after McCoy allegedly reached for a handgun after waking up Saturday night, the Vallejo Police Department said in a statement.
“There was no attempt to try to work out a peaceful solution,” Marc McCoy, Willie’s older brother, told The Guardian. “The police’s job is to arrest people who are breaking the law – not take the law into your own hands. You’re not judge, jury and executioner.”
Vallejo Police said officers responded to a 911 call around 10:30 p.m. Saturday from Taco Bell employees who reported someone slumped over in a car’s driver’s seat in the drive-thru lane. Two patrol officers found McCoy asleep with a handgun in his lap, the statement said. They waited for additional officers, police said, and noticed the door was locked and the transmission was in drive.
After additional officers arrived, police moved a patrol vehicle in front of McCoy’s car to “prevent forward or erratic movement,” requested a supervisor’s help and began moving another vehicle behind McCoy’s car.
That’s when McCoy “suddenly” moved and looked at the officers, the statement said. Officers gave several commands for McCoy to put his hands up, police said, but he “quickly moved his hands downward for the firearm.”
The six officers opened fire on McCoy and continued yelling commands, police said. They eventually removed him from the car and provided medical assistance, the statement said. He died at the scene.
Police say they are reviewing officer body camera footage and investigating the shooting with the Solano County District Attorney’s Office. How many times McCoy was shot in a span of four seconds will be released following an autopsy, the department said. All six officers are on administrative leave.
“It’s a really big loss, really, really unexpected,” David Harrison, McCoy’s cousin told the Chronicle. “There’s a lot of grieving going on, trying to make sense of this thing.”