VALLEJO (CBS SF) — The Vallejo Police Department fired an officer Wednesday who was involved in two fatal shootings within the past two years.
The department announced Thursday that it fired Ofc. Ryan McMahon, who fatally shot Ronell Foster in 2018 and joined five other officers in killing Willie McCoy last year.
Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams already recommended McMahon’s termination back in March, but officially fired him after an Internal Affairs investigation concluded that he “violated department policies by engaging in unsafe conduct and neglect for basic firearm safety.”
“Any conduct outside the level of professionalism this City deserves will not be tolerated by the Vallejo Police Department,” Chief Williams said. “I understand we have a long way to go in rebuilding trust among the residents of Vallejo and I will continue to take the necessary steps to better serve this community.”
McMahon first made headlines for his fatal shooting of 33-year-old Foster in February of 2018. McMahon reportedly attempted to stop Foster for “riding a bicycle in an unsafe manner.” Foster fled on foot and McMahon shot him with a taser, which had no effect.
McMahon pursued and later caught up with Foster. After pushing Foster down some stairs, McMahon tased him at close range and beat him with a flashlight. Foster took the flashlight from McMahon and tried to flee again when McMahon fatally shot him.
Foster’s family hired civil rights attorney John Burris, who sued the city of Vallejo. The city settled the lawsuit for $5.7 million.
On Feb. 9, 2019 — almost a year after the Foster shooting — McMahon was one of six officers involved in the fatal shooting of 20-year-old McCoy, a rapper who performed under the name Willie Bo.
Officers discovered McCoy that evening sleeping in his car in the drive-thru of a Taco Bell. After ordering him to keep his hands visible, the six officers claim that McCoy reached for a handgun in his lap. They opened fire on him, shooting him 55 times in less than four seconds.
Though an independent investigator found the officers’ use of force to be justified, Solano County District Attorney appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting. McCoy’s family hired Burris to sue the city over the incident and the department placed McMahon on paid administrative leave that fall.
An investigation of the Vallejo Police Department began in the wake of the shootings after two people in the department said officers had their badges bent to mark on-duty killings.
The Vallejo Police Officers Association did not comment on McMahon’s firing before press time.
Burris has also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Vallejo and Officer Jarrett Tonn over the fatal shooting of Sean Monterrosa, a San Francisco man shot through the windshield of a police vehicle in June.
Burris claims that police command staff knew or should have known the Tonn had a “shocking” history of firing his gun on the job. “By failing to discipline officers for misconduct, Vallejo’s police command staff essentially ratifies the bad conduct,” he said in August.