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Homicide: Jury classifies Tyrell Wilson's death in coroner's inquest

Ruling comes nearly 1-1/2 years after second fatal shooting involving same Danville deputy; DA's investigation still pending

Tyrell Wilson, 33, was shot and killed by Danville police officer Andrew Hall in March 2021 in Danville. (Photo courtesy John Burris)

At a Contra Costa County coroner's inquest hearing Friday looking at the death of 33-year-old Tyrell Wilson in Danville last year, a civilian jury found unanimously that Wilson's death came "at the hands of another person other than by accident" – akin to the legal definition of homicide.

Now-former Danville Police Officer Andrew Hall, a county sheriff's deputy assigned to the Danville Police Department beat, shot Wilson one time in the face during an encounter in March 2021. Wilson was holding a 4-inch pocket knife and walking toward Hall, who was backpedaling.

Former Danville deputy Andrew Hall, seen walking near the courthouse during his trial in the shooting of Laudemer Arboleda. (Photo by Harika Maddala/Bay City News)

Hall -- currently in state prison for six years for a separate on-duty killing in Danville -- responded to midday reports of a man fitting Wilson's description throwing rocks off the Sycamore Valley Road overpass to southbound Interstate 680 below.

People in the courtroom Friday, which included Wilson's father, civil rights attorney John Burris and Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton, were shown videos from three separate angles of Hall confronting Wilson at the intersection of Sycamore Valley Road and Camino Ramon.

The reason for the inquest, which is convened after a fatality involving law enforcement in Contra Costa County, is to present facts from the case to a jury for their deliberation and finding on the manner of death.

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At the coroner's inquests, a jury can only choose from one of four options for the death -- that it was an accident, suicide, natural causes, or the fourth option that the jury chose Friday, at the hands of another person other than by accident.

The encounter occurred in the late morning of March 11, 2021, three days after Wilson's 33rd birthday.

Hall repeatedly told Wilson to get out of the intersection, finally saying he wasn't going to play "this game."

Wilson, whose uncle told investigators Wilson was bipolar and suffered from schizophrenia, refused multiple times.

Wilson asked Hall multiple times who he was, even after Hall identified himself as a police officer. Video showed Wilson also asking "what country is this?"

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Danville Police Officer Jay Melen, then a detective for the sheriff's office, testified Hall later told him during interviews that Hall "was in fear of Mr. Wilson's safety and wanted to get him to the other side of the intersection."

Melen said Hall told investigators Hall noticed Wilson had a knife when the man stopped and turned to face Hall, who shouted for him to drop the knife. Wilson refused. As Wilson took two steps toward Hall, Hall took two steps back and fired his gun.

In the video, Wilson clearly said "kill me" twice, either while, or just before, he stepped toward Hall.

Wilson died at the hospital on March 13, 2021, although the sheriff's office did not publicly confirm the death on March 17, 2021.

Melen said Hall told him he didn't use his pepper spray because of other people in the area and didn't use his Taser stun gun because it likely wouldn't work through Wilson's heavy clothing. He said Hall stated he didn't use other hand-to-hand measures because of Wilson's size.

"He said he drew a line in the sand with Mr. Wilson," Melen said, adding that Hall said he decided to use his gun once Wilson stepped toward him and began raising his arm holding the knife.

Investigators said a few weeks before the altercation, Wilson was thrown out of his uncle's house in Pittsburg after a physical confrontation with his uncle, who told police at the time Wilson was mentally ill.

Forensic pathologist Ikechi Ogan, who did Wilson's autopsy, said marijuana was the only drug he found in Wilson's system.

Wilson's father Marvin Wilson came from Texas for the hearing. The former Orange County corrections officer said after the hearing that his son was a star athlete in high school whose mental issues started after he suffered serious brain trauma in a car accident that killed his girlfriend.

Tyrell was airlifted to the hospital, where he spent weeks recovering. He went back to football for his senior year, after already receiving scholarship offers from multiple Division I college programs. But he was never the same player, or person, again.

"Suddenly he was making (weak) tackles and would say 'Dad, I just didn't want to hurt him.' That fire was gone, like in 'Top Gun' when Tom Cruise lost his partner and was barely engaged."

The elder Wilson, now retired, said he'll be back -- especially if Becton decides to charge Hall with any crime.

"He was my only son -- my only child," Marvin Wilson said. "I've got to be his voice until the end."

Tyrell Wilson was the second person fatally shot by Hall, who was convicted of assault with a firearm and sentenced this March for the 2018 fatal shooting of Laudemer Arboleda. The county has paid a total of $9.4 million in settlement money to Wilson's and Arboleda's families, even though Wilson's killing is still being investigated.

Editor's note: Embarcadero Media editor Jeremy Walsh contributed to this article.

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Homicide: Jury classifies Tyrell Wilson's death in coroner's inquest

Ruling comes nearly 1-1/2 years after second fatal shooting involving same Danville deputy; DA's investigation still pending

by Tony Hicks / BCN Foundation /

Uploaded: Fri, Jul 22, 2022, 4:25 pm
Updated: Sun, Jul 24, 2022, 4:45 pm

At a Contra Costa County coroner's inquest hearing Friday looking at the death of 33-year-old Tyrell Wilson in Danville last year, a civilian jury found unanimously that Wilson's death came "at the hands of another person other than by accident" – akin to the legal definition of homicide.

Now-former Danville Police Officer Andrew Hall, a county sheriff's deputy assigned to the Danville Police Department beat, shot Wilson one time in the face during an encounter in March 2021. Wilson was holding a 4-inch pocket knife and walking toward Hall, who was backpedaling.

Hall -- currently in state prison for six years for a separate on-duty killing in Danville -- responded to midday reports of a man fitting Wilson's description throwing rocks off the Sycamore Valley Road overpass to southbound Interstate 680 below.

People in the courtroom Friday, which included Wilson's father, civil rights attorney John Burris and Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton, were shown videos from three separate angles of Hall confronting Wilson at the intersection of Sycamore Valley Road and Camino Ramon.

The reason for the inquest, which is convened after a fatality involving law enforcement in Contra Costa County, is to present facts from the case to a jury for their deliberation and finding on the manner of death.

At the coroner's inquests, a jury can only choose from one of four options for the death -- that it was an accident, suicide, natural causes, or the fourth option that the jury chose Friday, at the hands of another person other than by accident.

The encounter occurred in the late morning of March 11, 2021, three days after Wilson's 33rd birthday.

Hall repeatedly told Wilson to get out of the intersection, finally saying he wasn't going to play "this game."

Wilson, whose uncle told investigators Wilson was bipolar and suffered from schizophrenia, refused multiple times.

Wilson asked Hall multiple times who he was, even after Hall identified himself as a police officer. Video showed Wilson also asking "what country is this?"

Danville Police Officer Jay Melen, then a detective for the sheriff's office, testified Hall later told him during interviews that Hall "was in fear of Mr. Wilson's safety and wanted to get him to the other side of the intersection."

Melen said Hall told investigators Hall noticed Wilson had a knife when the man stopped and turned to face Hall, who shouted for him to drop the knife. Wilson refused. As Wilson took two steps toward Hall, Hall took two steps back and fired his gun.

In the video, Wilson clearly said "kill me" twice, either while, or just before, he stepped toward Hall.

Wilson died at the hospital on March 13, 2021, although the sheriff's office did not publicly confirm the death on March 17, 2021.

Melen said Hall told him he didn't use his pepper spray because of other people in the area and didn't use his Taser stun gun because it likely wouldn't work through Wilson's heavy clothing. He said Hall stated he didn't use other hand-to-hand measures because of Wilson's size.

"He said he drew a line in the sand with Mr. Wilson," Melen said, adding that Hall said he decided to use his gun once Wilson stepped toward him and began raising his arm holding the knife.

Investigators said a few weeks before the altercation, Wilson was thrown out of his uncle's house in Pittsburg after a physical confrontation with his uncle, who told police at the time Wilson was mentally ill.

Forensic pathologist Ikechi Ogan, who did Wilson's autopsy, said marijuana was the only drug he found in Wilson's system.

Wilson's father Marvin Wilson came from Texas for the hearing. The former Orange County corrections officer said after the hearing that his son was a star athlete in high school whose mental issues started after he suffered serious brain trauma in a car accident that killed his girlfriend.

Tyrell was airlifted to the hospital, where he spent weeks recovering. He went back to football for his senior year, after already receiving scholarship offers from multiple Division I college programs. But he was never the same player, or person, again.

"Suddenly he was making (weak) tackles and would say 'Dad, I just didn't want to hurt him.' That fire was gone, like in 'Top Gun' when Tom Cruise lost his partner and was barely engaged."

The elder Wilson, now retired, said he'll be back -- especially if Becton decides to charge Hall with any crime.

"He was my only son -- my only child," Marvin Wilson said. "I've got to be his voice until the end."

Tyrell Wilson was the second person fatally shot by Hall, who was convicted of assault with a firearm and sentenced this March for the 2018 fatal shooting of Laudemer Arboleda. The county has paid a total of $9.4 million in settlement money to Wilson's and Arboleda's families, even though Wilson's killing is still being investigated.

Editor's note: Embarcadero Media editor Jeremy Walsh contributed to this article.

Comments

CA Giacoma
Registered user
Danville
on Jul 22, 2022 at 10:00 pm
CA Giacoma, Danville
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2022 at 10:00 pm

It's about time that the right verdict came down, perhaps the tide and turned.


Rochelle Marquez
Registered user
another community
on Jul 23, 2022 at 10:39 am
Rochelle Marquez, another community
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2022 at 10:39 am

The next question is whether DA Diana Becton will pursue additional charges against former Contra Costa County Deputy Hall.

His actions in both shooting cases was unwarranted and an additional six years should be added to his current sentence in state prison.


Erin Walker
Registered user
Diablo
on Jul 23, 2022 at 1:07 pm
Erin Walker, Diablo
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2022 at 1:07 pm

> The next question is whether DA Diana Becton will pursue additional charges against former Contra Costa County Deputy Hall.

^ DA Becton should actively pursue charges against former Officer Hall for his second shooting of yet another mentally-ill person who was not posing an imminent threat or danger to his life.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 29, 2022 at 9:48 am
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 29, 2022 at 9:48 am

The suspect posed an imminent threat. He was ordered to put down the knife, but instead chose to take a step towards the officer and was shot.

Now, let’s take a look at the Brianna Kupfer case. She was a UCLA grad student killed in a seemingly random daylight attack in Los Angeles earlier this year, was stabbed 26 times. 26 times.

But Brianna Kupfer didn’t have a gun to defend herself, did she? She also wasn’t duty bound to enforce the law either, was she?

Unfortunately, Erin Walker is under the impression that just because someone has a mental illness, he/she should be treated differently when they attempt to use a weapon against someone. Is that so?

A person with a mental health condition is even more dangerous with a weapon because they lack the mental capacity to realize what they’re doing. Don’t believe me? Then ask yourself why the suspect in this case refused to drop his knife when confronted by a uniformed police officer with a gun?

Danville, CA - 2006. A 16-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of fatally bludgeoning his mother to death with a baseball bat.

Now, would Danville PD have acted properly by shooting the deceased’s son, had they arrived earlier to the scene?
You bet they would.

In the months that followed, The son had no idea his mother was dead or that he had allegedly killed her. He heard voices and was diagnosed with several severe mental illnesses.

The young man currently residing in Napa State Hospital for life.







Jeff Husted
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 29, 2022 at 12:49 pm
Jeff Husted, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 29, 2022 at 12:49 pm

Officer Hall's life wasn't in imminent danger during his first shooting incident and he was later convicted and sentenced to prison for six years.

With another questionable shooting/murder in three years, was Officer Hall merely an innocent victim of 'woke' mindsets?

And why did the Town of Danville pay civil damages to both families of the victims?

Some might say that these settlements prevented additional legal expenditures and time in court but in essence, they were an admission of guilt and responsibility for two easily preventable police-related shootings by the same individual.

The videos of both incidents speak volumes.


Bryan Baker
Registered user
Blackhawk
on Jul 29, 2022 at 2:21 pm
Bryan Baker, Blackhawk
Registered user
on Jul 29, 2022 at 2:21 pm

Both videos were damning evidence.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 29, 2022 at 10:39 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 29, 2022 at 10:39 pm

Hulstead,

You obviously no nothing about how the law in terms of settlements. The town of Danville paid out to those families to avoid a costly jury trial.

A settlement is an agreement between the parties in a lawsuit that effectively halts the dispute process and any other future litigation (lawsuit). It’s basically a compromise, which is why it’s sometimes called a compromise agreement.

There is a “no admission of liability” clause that says the settlement doesn’t include an admission of wrongdoing by either party.



Judy Wilkins
Registered user
another community
on Jul 30, 2022 at 11:50 am
Judy Wilkins, another community
Registered user
on Jul 30, 2022 at 11:50 am

@Malcom Hex

Regardless of any settlements, the Town of Danville would not have agreed to such a 'compromise' if Officer Hall was justified in carrying out his duties.

It is no different than pleading 'no contest' which is an admission of guilt.

Posters Hulstead, Baker, Walker, and Marquez see things for what they are...why can't you?

In Officer Hall's case, justice was served and hopefully he will be held accountable for his second wrongful shooting.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jul 30, 2022 at 11:19 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jul 30, 2022 at 11:19 pm

@Judy Wilkins

I’m not a member of the groupthink club, (Removed). You erroneously feel that a person who displays a knife, and takes a step towards a law enforcement officer is not a threat. Wrong.

Maybe you should ask yourself why the suspect chose to pull out the knife in the first place.

Self preservation is obviously not part of your thought process.


Benito Amaro
Registered user
another community
on Jul 31, 2022 at 8:27 am
Benito Amaro, another community
Registered user
on Jul 31, 2022 at 8:27 am

Both of Officer Hall's wrongful shootings involved people of color and inherent racism/prejudice on his part might also have been a factor.

I have worked in the Danville/San Ramon area and it is an unwelcoming environment for non-white individuals.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Aug 1, 2022 at 9:41 am
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2022 at 9:41 am

Inherent racism? And you know this how? So, The suspect just happened to be black. But if the suspect had been white,
I’m quite sure you would have been content without commenting.


Jeff Husted
Registered user
San Ramon
on Aug 1, 2022 at 10:22 am
Jeff Husted, San Ramon
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2022 at 10:22 am

@Malcolm Fife...

The victim in Officer Hall's first shooting was Hispanic.

Ruben may have a point.

How many white homeless people are gunned down in Danville?


Jeff Husted
Registered user
San Ramon
on Aug 1, 2022 at 10:23 am
Jeff Husted, San Ramon
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2022 at 10:23 am

Or rather Benito...apologies.


Bert Leary
Registered user
Danville
on Aug 1, 2022 at 11:27 am
Bert Leary, Danville
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2022 at 11:27 am

@ Jeff Husted...
There are no homeless white people in Danville...zero/zilch.


Meredith Laskey
Registered user
Walnut Creek
on Aug 1, 2022 at 1:35 pm
Meredith Laskey, Walnut Creek
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2022 at 1:35 pm

"There are no homeless white people in Danville..."

Seriously?


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Aug 1, 2022 at 9:31 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Aug 1, 2022 at 9:31 pm

Hey Hulstead,

Thanks for the response. Im not sure whether I should laugh, or be concerned about your thought process. However, should you ever see a white homeless person in Danville, please let me know. Maybe he exist in the hills above Alamo, perhaps?


Homeless in Danville
Registered user
Danville
on Aug 2, 2022 at 12:24 pm
Homeless in Danville, Danville
Registered user
on Aug 2, 2022 at 12:24 pm

@Malcom Hex

FYI...I am a white homeless person who gravitates between Hartz Avenue and Sycamore Road when it comes time to retire during the evenings.

Fortunately I have been able to avoid the police as I try to keep a low profile when parked overnight.

BTW, I am not mentally ill or a drug abuser...just a displaced worker who could no longer afford to pay the rent on my apartment.

Since I am relatively well-dressed during the day (and white), I do not attract any scrutinizing attention from the Danville residents.

Things might be different if I were a homeless person of color.


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