Vallejo police shoot and kill a Mercedes driver who had a gun on his lap and who they said reached for it when he woke up in a Taco Bell parking lot. Feb. 9, 2019
VALLEJO, Calif. (KTVU) - Vallejo police shot and killed a man who they said was "unresponsive" in a Mercedes in a Taco Bell drive-through with a gun on his lap and that when he woke up, he reached for the weapon.
KTVU has learned that six Vallejo officers opened fire, killing 21-year-old Willie McCoy, a local rapper.
The man's brother arrived on scene Saturday morning. He didn't want to speak publicly, but he left candles in the parking lot of the restaurant to honor his memory. Other relatives said he was part of a rap group and brought people together with his music.
"Willie was a good person he didn’t deserve that," said his cousin, Levonte Cole." I have no words for Vallejo police. They’re supposed to protect and serve. They’re not supposed to shoot to kill."
Vallejo police said they got a call Saturday night about 10:30 p.m. from an employee of the Taco Bell restaurant at 974 Admiral Callaghan Lane. The employee was concerned that a silver Mercedes was parked in the drive-thru line and that the driver was slumped over in his seat, police said.
As the officers approached the Mercedes, they could see that the adult male driver was "unresponsive," and that he had a handgun on his lap, police said. The officers found that the Mercedes was locked and that the transmission was in drive. The officers made efforts to stop any forward progress by the Mercedes as they assessed the situation and asked for additional resources, police said.
The driver - the only person in the car -- suddenly began to move, police said. The officers told the driver to keep his hands visible, however he quickly reached for the handgun on his lap, police said. "In fear for their own safety, the officers discharged their weapons at the driver," police said.
The officers immediately requested medical assistance and began life saving efforts, police said, but the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A loaded handgun was recovered from the Mercedes, police said.
Police would not immediately release the name of the driver, nor did they identify the six officers involved in the shooting.
This is the eighth officer-involved shooting in the last three years, and the second in less than two months, according to 2 Investigates' Public Records Requests on use of force cases where the shootings caused death or great bodily injury.
The department is already in the spotlight after one of its officers, David McLaughlin, was put on administrative leave last week when he was captured on video during two occasions when he drew his gun in what could be seen as excessive use of force, 2 Investigates first reported.
The Vallejo Police Department is encouraging anyone who may be a witness or who has additional information to contact Detective Scott Yates at (707) 648-4533 or Detective Craig Long at (707) 648-4514.
KTVU's Candice Nguyen and Azenith Smith contributed to this report.