People setup signs with Sean Monterrosa’s pictures and messages such as “Justice for Sean” and “Tucan” on the fence of the school he attended- Junipero Serra Elementary School, near Holly Park, in San Francisco, Calif., on July 12, 2020. 'Tucan' was a nickname given to Monterrosa due to his fondness of drawing Toucan Sam, the Froot Loops cereal mascot. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)

A VALLEJO DETECTIVE who was fired after shooting and killing a man amid George Floyd protests in 2020 is getting his job back plus back pay, his attorney said in a statement.  

Detective Jarrett Tonn was dismissed from the Vallejo force after he shot Sean Monterrosa, 22, of San Francisco, outside of a Walgreens store on Redwood Street during the early morning hours of June 2, 2020.

The Vallejo Walgreens where Sean Monterrosa, 22, was shot and killed by a Vallejo police officer. (Screen grab Google Earth)

Tonn and two other officers were responding to alleged reports of looting at the store in an unmarked pickup truck. Body camera footage shows Tonn, who is seated in the backseat of the vehicle, stick an AR-15-style assault rifle in between the two officers and fire five times through the windshield at Monterrosa as the police vehicle approached the store.  

Monterrosa died a short time later. 

The decision to reverse the termination of Tonn was issued “after an evidentiary hearing and represented the second determination by a neutral hearing officer that Tonn’s use of deadly force was legally justified,” said Tonn’s attorney Joshua Olander in a statement Aug. 28. “His termination was not supported by the facts and the law.”  

Olander said Monterrosa posed an “imminent and deadly threat.”  

Vallejo police have alleged that Tonn fired at Monterrosa because he mistook a hammer in Monterrosa’s sweatshirt pocket for the butt of a gun. 

Then Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams found that Monterrosa was on his knees with his arms raised when he was shot. Tonn was at first placed on leave and then fired in 2021. In March, an arbitration hearing was held and the decision in Tonn’s favor was released to his attorney on Aug. 18.  

Monterrosa’s death caused national outcry and the California Department of Justice opened an investigation into the shooting in May 2021.

Dolores Lopez, grandmother of Sean Monterrosa, dances during a healing ritual on Tucan Day, a public event held to honor Sean Monterrosa, near Holly Park, in San Francisco, Calif., on July 12, 2020. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)

Monterrosa’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Tonn that has a jury trial scheduled for January 2025.  

Vallejo police have so far been mum on Tonn’s return, but on Tuesday, Vallejo City Manager Mike Malone said the arbitrator told the city that Tonn should return “as soon as practicable” and that the city and the Police Department are making preparations for his reinstatement.

Katy St. Clair got her start in journalism by working in the classifieds department at the East Bay Express during the height of alt weeklies, then sweet talked her way into becoming staff writer, submissions editor, and music editor. She has been a columnist in the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Examiner. Starting in 2015, she begrudgingly scaled the inverted pyramid at dailies such as the Vallejo Times-Herald, The Vacaville Reporter, and the Daily Republic. She has her own independent news site and blog that covers the delightfully dysfunctional town of Vallejo, California, where she also collaborates with the investigative team at Open Vallejo. A passionate advocate for people with developmental disabilities, she serves on both the Board of the Arc of Solano and the Arc of California. She lives in Vallejo.