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Vallejo officer in Willie McCoy killing had a shooting in 2017. Police just released records on it

VALLEJO — The city’s police department released a new batch of records on a 2017 foot chase where an officer was the subject of an internal investigation after he shot at a fleeing carjacking suspect.
The officer, Jarrett Tonn, has been involved in four shootings since 2015, including last month when he and five other officers shot and killed 20-year-old Willie McCoy at a Taco Bell drive-thru in Vallejo. McCoy was shot upwards of 20 times, according to his attorneys who are filing legal claims against the city, and his death has led to intense scrutiny from around the Bay Area.
The records — released under the new police transparency law SB 1421 — detail how in July 2017, Tonn ran after a suspect in a violent carjacking, 33-year-old Victor Hurtado, and fired at him three times, believing Hurtado had a gun. The bullets did not strike anyone, and Hurtado was arrested later that day, but no gun was recovered, according to police reports.
Police opened a use of force investigation three days later following a citizen’s complaint, but have not released the results. Tonn was reinstated to patrol duty following the shooting.
Tonn is one of five Vallejo officers who have been involved in multiple shootings since 2016. The city has paid out $7 million since 2011 to settle legal claims involving police lawsuits, including a 2015 kidnapping in Mare Island that a public information officer mislabelled “an orchestrated event.”
The partially redacted, 53-page file contains police reports from the July 8, 2017 shooting, when patrol officers got word to be on the lookout for Hurtado and David Plancarte, described as two alleged gang members believed to have carjacked and pistol-whipped a man in Napa.
Officers spotted the pair near Alabama and Sacramento streets, and began walking in different directions. Tonn arrived at the scene and began to look for Hurtado, while “Ofc. Carpenter and Ofc. Jones” looked for Plancarte, the reports say.
Tonn agreed to make a statement about the shooting, with an attorney present. He said he found Hurtado at a park on Sacramento Street, and chased him into Packard Alley.
According to Tonn, Hurtado appeared to have a gun in his hand, then “re-holstered” it at his waistband, the reports say. This concerned Tonn, who said it was uncommon for a suspect to keep a gun rather than try and ditch it. As he chased Hurtado down the alley, he said he grew concerned he was going to be ambushed.
When Hurtado exited the alleyway, surveillance camera shows him continuing north up Santa Clara Street, according to police reports. When Tonn exited the alley, he said Hurtado was standing on the intersection of Santa Clara and Alamba streets, which Google Maps calculates is about 180 feet away.
That’s when Tonn yelled “Drop it!” and fired his gun at Hurtado 1.75 seconds after giving the command, according to the reports. He told police he fired because he was afraid Hurtado would shoot and injure someone. Hurtado was not struck by gunfire and ran down Alabama Street, hiding in a resident’s shed until he was arrested.
Other witnesses reported seeing a gun in Hurtado’s possession during the foot chase. Police reviewed a resident’s surveillance footage showed Hurtado carrying what appeared to investigators to be a pistol. When Hurtado was arrested, police recovered a bag of “white powder” and a cell phone, but no gun.
Hurtado told police he was drinking at a park and had a meth pipe on him, but denied having a gun. He said he did not know if an officer had shot at him, but decided to hide after he heard the shots. He was arrested on the carjacking warrant and later accepted a plea deal for 10 years in state prison, according to Napa court records.
The shooting was not made public for three days, when police put out a brief news release saying a citizen had come forward to report that an officer had shot at Hurtado during a foot chase. Police described it as a complaint alleging “unauthorized use of force” and said at the time the department opened a “use of force” investigation.
Police did not immediately return requests for comment on the results of the use of force investigation, which were not included in the documents released Friday.
Plancarte’s arrest, which happened around the same time as the shooting, was the subject of a controversy when a local news station misreported that an officer had called Plancarte the “N-word.” The officer actually told Plancarte he would “(expletive) blow you away” if he made sudden movements.
Prior incidents involving Tonn
In 2013, Tonn — then an officer in the Sacramento County city of Galt — was one of the first to arrive when his cousin, also a Galt policeman named Kevin Tonn, was gunned down by a burglary suspect. The gunman killed himself after shooting Tonn. The following year, Jarrett Tonn transferred to the Vallejo police department.
In 2015, Tonn was one of two officers identified as shooting and killing Gerald Brown, 23, after he allegedly rammed a police vehicle with a stolen car, according to a published report .
A month ago, Tonn and five other officers shot and killed McCoy. Police said in a news release McCoy was sitting “unresponsive” in the drive-thru with a stolen gun in his lap, and that officers shot him after he jolted awake and refused to obey their commands. McCoy’s family disputes the police account and has filed a legal claim against the city.
Tonn is already the defendant in two federal lawsuits alleging misuse of force, one of them a 2017 shooting case. In it, Tonn, former Vallejo officer Sean Kenney, and a third officer, Kevin Barreto, are alleged to have fired 30-40 shots at Vallejo resident Kevin DeCarl o, who they were trying to arrest in connection with a recent police chase.
Last May, Tonn was sued local man named Robert Strong, who alleges Tonn put Strong in a chokehold, took him to the ground, and scraped his head against the concrete after Strong tried to film the officer with his cell phone. Strong was being pulled over for a minor traffic violation and Tonn, according to the suit, activated his body camera moments before pulling Strong from the car.
DeCarlo was shot in unincorporated Martinez, and later charged in Contra Costa with assault on an officer . His attorney, Stanley Goff, called the criminal case a “subterfuge” and said he believes Tonn has shown a pattern of excessive force.
“It appears this particular officer is engaging in violent acts regarding members of the Vallejo community,” said Goff, who also represents Strong.

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