The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office released video footage on Wednesday depicting the scene when Deputy Andrew Hall shot Tyrell Wilson in Danville on March 11 -- the 32-year-old man died from his injuries in the hospital days later.
The video clips (which are graphic in nature) show the moment when Hall, a sheriff's deputy assigned to the Danville Police Department beat, fatally shot Wilson one time after a brief verbal exchange with Wilson holding a knife while at the intersection of Sycamore Valley Road and Camino Ramon in Danville, as well as the moments before and after the shooting.
Sheriff's representatives said they were releasing the footage Wednesday in an effort to be transparent with the public.
"Any loss of life is tragic, but the community can now see the truth," Sheriff David Livingston said in a written statement accompanying the video release and expressing support for the deputy for making a split-second decision to protect himself and the public.
This marked the second on-duty fatal shooting for Hall in Danville in the past 2-1/2 years -- both of Hall's shootings account for the only police shootings that have occurred in the town over the past 20 years.
Hours after the Wilson videos were released, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced Wednesday that after a lengthy investigation she was charging Hall with manslaughter for his actions in a previous deadly police shooting in Danville in 2018.
The Wilson family's attorney, Oakland-based civil rights lawyer John Burris, has questioned police's account of the fatal shooting of Wilson, saying that Hall's actions escalated a tense situation, leading directly to Wilson's death.
“The video and witness accounts show this was a cold murder. Wilson never had a chance,” Burris said in a statement.
"Hall initiated the contact. He made no effort to de-escalate; he seemed hell-bent on bringing Wilson under control as if he were roping an uncooperative steer," Burris added. "Equally disturbing with the shooting was the utter lack of urgency in providing medical care. Mr. Wilson laid mortally wounded in the street for 25 minutes before paramedics arrived."
The DA's office investigation into Wilson's death remains ongoing.
According to the sheriff's office, Hall was responding to calls that someone was throwing rocks onto Interstate 680 from the Sycamore Valley Road overpass when he came across Wilson crossing the Sycamore Valley-Camino Ramon intersection just after 11:45 a.m. March 11.
Running for 16 minutes and 56 seconds, the video footage from four camera sources, including Hall's bodycam, includes video and audio of the verbal exchange between the two men and shows an approximately 32-second interaction between Hall and Wilson before the lone shot was fired.
The video begins with Hall's body camera footage as the officer approached Wilson, a Black man living outdoors near I-680 in Danville, who was crossing the street in the opposite direction of Hall with a paper bag in his left hand and a backpack on his back.
Hall calls out asking Wilson to "come here," to which Wilson refuses saying "no" as he continues to walk away while Hall follows behind, according to the video.
Hall continues to follow Wilson into the intersection and identifies himself as a Danville police officer, doing so after Wilson turns around and begins to walk backward away from Hall, according to the video.
The deputy closes the distance to within several feet while Wilson stands still for a moment, appearing to ask the officer "authority of what" while backing away. Wilson then pulls out what appears to be a folding knife in his right hand and says "touch me and see what up," according to the video.
Hall responds by yelling at Wilson to "drop the knife" multiple times and then pulls out his gun as Wilson stops in the street. Wilson keeps the knife in his hand, but doesn't point it toward the deputy, as he takes two swaying steps forward and appears to say "kill me," according to the video. In that second, Hall fires a lone shot toward Wilson's head -- exactly where it struck the 32-year-old is blocked out of the video.
Wilson immediately crumples to the ground, lying all but motionless and bleeding in the intersection as Hall calls for backup, according to the public video, which blocks out Wilson's face and injury.
In the moments after the shooting, Hall is assisted by an unidentified off-duty San Francisco Police Department officer who helped with traffic control before other on-duty Danville police officers arrived on the scene.
After removing the knife from Wilson's hand and searching his body, Hall and other responding officers appear to begin attempting to give medical treatment to Wilson approximately two minutes after the shooting, according to the video.
The public video footage also includes dashcam video from a civilian vehicle at the intersection, and two overhead traffic cameras above the intersection.
One short clip from a stationary town camera shows a person walking around the freeway overpass, although it appears inconclusive that the person was Wilson or that they were throwing rocks onto the freeway.
Wilson was transported to an area hospital that afternoon, but died from his injuries there on March 17.
In his statement Wednesday, Sheriff Livingston said, "Tyrell Wilson did in fact threaten the lives of passing motorists by throwing objects, possibly rocks, from the overpass down onto Highway 680. He was found with numerous rocks in his jacket pocket."
"He did pull a knife on officer Hall. He did threaten officer Hall. And he did start advancing toward officer Hall in the middle of a major intersection. Officers are forced to make split second decisions to protect themselves and the public and that's what happened here," Livingston added.
Wilson's family disagrees, and has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit for wrongful death, claiming that not only was the killing unjust but that it was committed "with deliberation and premeditation."
"There is no evidence that Wilson was involved with the rock-throwing. In fact, Wilson was walking across the street toward the bus stop Park and Ride, where his homeless encampment was located and where he spent his time. Tyrell was well known amongst daily commuters, who all knew him as likable and easy-going," staff from Burris's office said.
The town of Danville contracts its police services with the county sheriff, who train and provide deputies for the Danville Police Department. In response to the release of the video, the Danville Town Council held a press conference on Wednesday, calling for transparency.
"Today’s release of the body camera footage related to the Tyrell Wilson shooting is essential, as the public has the right to know what happened both during and following the shooting. The videos can be viewed at the following link. They contain graphic content and language that may be disturbing and not appropriate for all viewers," Danville Mayor Renee Morgan said on behalf of the council.
"We continue to support full transparency in all matters related to both incidents. We understand the importance of trust in the relationship between our community and the police personnel who are here to serve them, and we are committed to creating a safe, equitable and inclusive community for all members of our community," she added.
Hall is the same Danville police officer who fatally shot 33-year-old Newark resident Laudemer Arboleda at close range nine times while Arboleda tried to drive around police vehicles trying to block his path in downtown Danville on Nov. 3, 2018.
A couple of hours after the video release in the Wilson case, DA Becton announced that she was charging Hall with felony counts of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a semiautomatic firearm in connection with Arboleda's death. A warrant was issued for Hall's arrest, with bail set at $220,000.
The first-ever criminal case filed against a police officer in Contra Costa County for their actions during an on-duty shooting.