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Fatal OIS as rapper goes for his gun after passing out while in drive-thru line

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Nate Gartrell
East Bay Times

VALLEJO — Six officers fired their guns at a man in his 20s who had fallen asleep at the wheel in a drive-through with a gun in his lap, according to a police news release issued Tuesday.

The news release does not identify the six officers, and says that the man police killed at a Taco Bell drive-thru Saturday night has not yet been identified. Multiple family members, though, have told reporters he is Willie McCoy, 21, a local rapper who used the stage name “Willie Bo.”

Police say each of the six officers fired multiple rounds, and that the shooting occurred within four seconds. This newspaper filed a public records request on Sunday for the officers’ names.

The officers have been placed on administrative leave.

McCoy was shot following a 911 call around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, by employees at the Taco Bell in the 900 block of Admiral Callaghan Lane, in Vallejo. Two officers approached the car and saw a man slumped over in the the driver’s seat, in a car that had stopped in the drive-through. The officers saw a gun in the man’s lap and called for backup, the news release says.

Four more officers arrived at the scene. They tried the car door, “with the intention of one officer swiftly retrieving the firearm from the subject’s lap, while another officer covered him,” but it was locked, the new release says.

Then they began positioning a patrol car in front of McCoy’s car. In the middle of it, McCoy began to move. Police say they yelled commands at him to raise his hands.

“The driver did not comply and instead he quickly moved his hands downward for the firearm,” the news release says. “Fearing for their safety, six officers fired their duty weapons at the driver. Officers continued to yell commands at the driver and ultimately reached through the broken glass of the driver’s window to unlock the vehicle.”

After McCoy was shot, police attempted lifesaving measures but he died at the scene, the news release says. Later, police discovered the gun was stolen out of Oregon.

The news release includes a video statement from Vallejo’s police chief, who said that “any loss of life is a tragedy.”

This marks the third time in recent years that several Vallejo officers have fired upon a suspect at once. In May 2017, four officers shot and wounded Kevin DeCarlo, of Vallejo, while serving an arrest warrant in unincorporated Martinez. He later filed a still-unresolved federal lawsuit against the police department.

Three months after DeCarlo was shot, five Vallejo officers shot and killed a Benicia man who led them on a chase into Richmond, striking him 41 times. McCoy’s killing is the eighth shooting involving Vallejo officers within three years, including four in 2017.

It is also the second time this month a Vallejo officer has been placed on administrative leave. A week ago, Vallejo Officer David McLaughlin was put on leave after a video surfaced of him pulling a gun on a man in Walnut Creek during an argument, days after another video was released showing him tackling a man who was filming McLaughlin from his porch.

Police say any potential witnesses to the shooting can call Detective Scott Yates at 707-648-4533 or Detective Craig Long at 707-648-4514.

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©2019 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

Visit the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) at www.eastbaytimes.com

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