Police in Vallejo, California fatally shot a local rapper, Willie Bo (legally known as Willie McCoy) who reportedly fell asleep in a car while in a Taco Bell drive-thru lane on Saturday.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, McCoy’s family is now demanding answers after the shooting, which occurred around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
Saturday night, an employee at the Taco Bell called the police to report a driver slumped over the driver’s seat of a silver Mercedes. When officers arrived, they found McCoy unresponsive with a handgun in his lap. As they continued to observe the situation, McCoy reportedly suddenly moved, and that’s when he was shot and killed.
“The officers told the driver to keep his hands visible, however, the driver quickly reached for the handgun on his lap,” police said in a statement. “In fear for their own safety, the officers discharged their weapons at the driver.”
McCoy, 20, died at the scene.
Vallejo police claimed that McCoy’s handgun was allegedly stolen in Oregon and was functional when officers seized it. It is not clear how McCoy acquired the weapon.
Nonetheless, his family wants to know why he was killed in the first place.
“It’s a really big loss. Really, really unexpected,” McCoy’s cousin, David Harrison, said Monday. “There’s a lot of grieving going on, trying to make sense of this thing.”
“There was no attempt to try to work out a peaceful solution,” Marc McCoy, Willie’s older brother, told the Guardian. “The police’s job is to arrest people who are breaking the law – not take the law into your own hands. You’re not judge, jury and executioner … We’re never going to get over this.”
Harrison also noted the distrust the Vallejo community has for the police and the targeting of Black men by police.
“No one trusts the police in Vallejo,” Harrison told the Guardian. “We are being targeted … Police have a campaign of executing young black men who fit a certain profile. Willie dressed the part. He represents hip-hop music. They are profiled.”