Cellphone video has emerged showing the moment a police officer from an affluent San Francisco suburb fatally shot a black homeless man who was said to be holding a knife.
The officer-involved shooting took place on the morning of March 11 in a parking lot in Danville and resulted in the death of 32-year-old Tyrell Wilson.
Police said in a press release that when confronted by an officer investigating reports of a person throwing rocks off of an overpass, Wilson opened a folding knife, refused commands to drop the weapon and then advanced on the cop, prompting him to open fire.
Bystander video released on Monday shows Danville, California, police officer Andrew Hall fatally shoot Tyrell Wilson, 32, on March 11
Wilson died of his injuries less than a week later; family attorney said he had been shot in the face during the confrontation
Police said Wilson was armed with a folding knife and advanced on Hall, but family lawyer says the video disputes that
Video recorded by an eyewitness from a passing vehicle does not appear to show Wilson walk toward officer Andrew Hall in the moments before he aims his gun at the homeless man and pulls the trigger, causing him to crumple to the ground.
‘Oh, my God, what the f***?!’ the person in the car exclaims off camera. ‘This due just got shot and killed, bro.’
Wilson was said to be mentally ill and living in a parking lot in Danville
Wilson remains lying motionless in the street as Hall approaches and stands over him.
Wilson died less than a week later at a local hospital. Civil rights attorney John Burris, who represents the man’s family, said the 32-year-old had been shot in the face.
Last week, dozens of people, including Wilson’s family, held a vigil in his honor and marched to the Danville Police Department to demand justice for him.
Activists said he was struggling with mental illness and relying on his father, Marvin Wilson, for financial support while living on the streets.
Officer Hall has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the fatal shooting, as per department policy.
His attorney said the newly released video does not show what actually happened during the interaction between the officer and Wilson, because it was shot from an odd angle, it does not include the verbal exchange between the two men, and a road sign obscures some of the key moments before the shot is fired.
It has since emerged that he shot and killed Laudemer Arboleda, 33, in November 2018 in Danville. The Contra Costa County District Attorney has yet to decide whether or not to charge Hall in that case.
Police quickly released photos showing Wilson holding a shopping bag in his left hand and a folding knife in his right. Pictured tight: a folding knife is seen lying on the ground
A march was held on March 28 in Danville in Wilson’s honor, with activists demanding justice for him
According to the police, the incident involving Wilson began unfolding shortly before noon on March 11, when the 911 call center received several reports concerning a person who was throwing rocks off of the Sycamore Valley Road overpass onto Highway 680.
Hall arrived on the scene and made contact with Wilson, a homeless man who had been living at a nearby parking lot.
‘As the officer tried to talk to him, the subject pulled out a folding knife and then opened it,’ the press release from the police stated. ‘The officer ordered him to drop the knife several times. He then advanced toward the officer, who discharged his weapon striking the subject once.’
Hall shot and killed Laudemer Arboleda, 33 (pictured in a photo), in November 2018 in Danville
Police quickly released still photographs showing Wilson holding a brown paper bag in his left hand and a folding knife in his right.
Burris, the family’s attorney, claimed that it was 25 minutes before paramedics responded to the scene and rendered aid to Wilson.
He was expected to file a federal lawsuit on Tuesday, accusing Hall of violating Wilson’s civil rights.