Civil rights attorney John Burris said he has been contacted by the family of a man shot and killed by a Danville police officer to look into events leading to the shooting – alluding that an eyewitness has disputed police accounts of the fatal contact between Officer Andrew Hall and Tyrell Wilson on March 11.
Burris said Wilson’s family retained him to look into the shooting – the second fatal shooting to involve Hall in Danville in 18 months – and that he intends to sue the officer and his department for violating Wilson’s civil rights. Wilson, a 33-year-old homeless man believed to have been living in the area where the shooting occurred, died Wednesday in a local hospital.
“Tyrell’s parents are concerned that the officer’s statements are not totally truthful,” the attorney’s office said in a statement. “Especially since an independent witness disputes the officer’s account. The witness described a different account of how the incident occurred between Officer Hall and Mr. Wilson.”
What the witness saw and how it differs from the police version of the incident was not detailed. In announcing Wilson’s death the Contra Costa Office of the Sheriff said it “is committed to full transparency of all the facts. Sheriff’s investigators continue to work with the District Attorney’s Office on investigating this incident pursuant to the countywide law enforcement involved fatal incident protocol.”
The March 11 encounter between Hall and Wilson began to unfold at 11:48 a.m. when police began receiving calls of a man throwing rocks from the Sycamore Valley Road overpass onto Interstate 680.
The sheriff’s version of the incident is that Hall arrived on scene and contacted Wilson just east of the freeway at Sycamore Valley and Camino Ramon, approaching Wilson and attempting to speak with him. Police said Wilson then pulled out a folding knife and opened it, police supplying apparent body cam still images of Wilson with the open knife in his hand and an evidence photo of the open knife on the ground.
Police said Hall ordered Wilson to drop the knife several times, firing once when Wilson failed to comply and approached the officer.
A photo of the incident taken shortly after the shooting and forwarded to this site show Wilson on the ground in the intersection, Hall standing a few feet away, gun up, in a “covering” position. News24/680 has opted not to publish the photo.
Burris noted that the shooting was the second to involve Hall, who fired multiple times on a car driven by a Newark man, 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda after a slow-speed chase through Danville – inflicting a fatal wound to Arboleda’s chest – in 2018.
Hall said at the time he fired out of fear he would be struck by Arboleda’s car as the fleeing man tried to drive around police cars attempting to block his path. In a review of dash cam video of the shooting some law enforcement experts questioned Hall’s actions, saying Hall appears to step into the car’s path before opening fire.
Hall and other officers working in Danville are assigned to provide police coverage for the town under a contract agreement with the county. Sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said Hall, a police officer for seven and a half years, is currently on paid administrative leave per department policy following last week’s shooting.