Former California police officer involved in the fatal shooting of Tyrell Wilson won't be charged
By Alaa Elassar, Rebekah Riess and Joe Sutton, CNNUpdated: Sun, 30 Oct 2022 19:25:52 GMTSource: CNNA former northern California police officer imprisoned in connection with one fatal shooting will noBy Alaa Elassar, Rebekah Riess and Joe Sutton, CNN
Updated: Sun, 30 Oct 2022 19:25:52 GMT
A former northern California police officer imprisoned in connection with one fatal shooting will not be charged for a second fatal shooting which led to the death of Tyrell Wilson, a 32-year-old Black man, the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office announced Friday.
On March 11, 2021, Deputy Andrew Hall with the Danville Police Department responded to an overpass where Wilson was reportedly throwing rocks onto the interstate, according to a Law Enforcement Involved Fatal Incident report released Friday. During the encounter, the two engaged in a verbal back-and-forth and Wilson retrieved a folding knife from his jacket, the report said.
Hall pointed his firearm at Wilson and ordered him to "drop the knife" three times. However, Wilson took two to three steps towards Hall, raised the knife up to his chest, looked up at the sky, and said, "Kill me," before the deputy shot him once in the head, according to the report.
Wilson was hospitalized and died from the fatal gunshot wound two days later, according to the Law Enforcement Involved Fatal Incident report, which summarized the opinions and analyses of two use-of-force experts and included a legal analysis of the encounter between Hall and Wilson, explaining the charging decision.
"After reviewing all available evidence, one reasonable conclusion points to innocence, and another reasonable conclusion points to guilt," the report concluded. " As such, no criminal charge will be brought in this matter at this time."
CNN has reached out to attorney John Burris, who represents the Wilson family, and attorney Michael Rains, who represents Hall, for comment.
"This was a difficult and challenging case," District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement. "My legal team and I spent a considerable amount of time and resources evaluating the evidence before coming to this conclusion. As a community, we need to find ways to de-escalate law enforcement encounters where the use of force leads to tragic outcomes."
"The loss of Tyrell Wilson's life weighs on our community and I express my deepest condolences to the Wilson family," Becton added.
The Wilson family was told about the charging decision in person before the report was published, according to Becton's office.
Hall also faced multiple felony charges for the 2018 shooting death of a man during a slow-speed pursuit. Hall shot Laudemer Arboleda, a 33-year-old Filipino American, nine times during the 2018 pursuit as Arboleda attempted to slowly maneuver his car between two police vehicles, the news release said.
Hall was convicted in October 2021 of assault with a firearm and was sentenced to six years in prison, according to criminal court records. As of 2021, Hall had been a police officer for more than seven years.
'The video and witness accounts show this was a cold murder'
Wilson's family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the town of Danville, California and police officers after video which captured a part of the shooting emerged.
Addressing the video in the 2021 complaint, Burris noted "even if (the knife) was still in Mr. Wilson's possession at the time of the shooting, the video shows clearly that Mr. Wilson took no aggressive action whatsoever in that time frame."
In an earlier news release, Burris also said there was no evidence Wilson "was involved with the rock-throwing" and added Wilson was "well known amongst daily commuters who all knew him as likable and easy-going." The press release also noted Wilson was homeless and had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.
"My son has never, ever been violent," Wilson's mother Diana said earlier. "I have not seen the video, I do not want to see the video. I want my last thoughts and pictures of my son to be the beautiful man he is."
"I do want the officer to come to some kind of justice because I don't want another parent or father to go through what we're going through now," she added. "I think about my child, it makes me cry."
Lee Housekeeper, a spokesperson for Burris, told CNN earlier the attorney's office was in the process of filing the lawsuit when it found multiple eyewitnesses to the shooting who offered new information, including the video.
"The video and witness accounts show this was a cold murder," Burris said in a statement. "Wilson never had a chance."