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Vallejo cop involved in two fatal shootings in two years placed on leave

The Vallejo police officer who shot and killed a man behind a building in February 2018 has been placed on paid administrative leave, Vallejo police confirmed in response to public records act request from the Times-Herald.

Officer Ryan McMahon fatally shot Ronell Foster, 33, seven times after the two tussled behind a building in the 400 block of Carolina Street on Feb. 13, 2018. McMahon was also involved in the officer-involved shooting of Willie McCoy in February 2019. McMahon, along with five other Vallejo police officers, shot and killed McCoy at a Taco Bell drive-through.

Police on Wednesday declined to provide any additional information on why McMahon was placed on leave and whether it had anything to do with the Foster or McCoy cases.

Vallejo police Capt. Joseph Iacono declined to provide any comment when asked earlier this month about why McMahon was placed on leave.

“I am prohibited from commenting on any potential personnel matter,” he told the Times-Herald.

McMahon told investigators that he tried to stop Foster and “educate” the man about driving recklessly and not having a light on the bicycle, according to documents released this year under the state’s new police transparency law, SB 1421.

Foster’s family, through the law offices of Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris, sued the city and police department three months after Foster was killed. Burris’ attorneys intended to depose McMahon in anticipation of a trial.

However, in October McMahon signaled his intent to exercise his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the federal lawsuit.

McMahon told investigators that Foster rode off on the bicycle, leading him on a chase over several city blocks. Foster eventually ditched his bicycle and started running, while the officer got out of his cruiser and ran after Foster.

During the chase, McMahon reported that he allegedly witnessed Foster reaching for his waistband several times. Believing Foster had a weapon, McMahon discharged his Taser. One of the two probes struck Foster in the back but that didn’t stop Foster as he continued to run away until falling along a walkway behind a building on Carolina Street, McMahon told investigators.

McMahon caught up to Foster and pushed the man down as he tried to get up. The officer said he tried to use a stun gun on Foster, but that failed as well.

McMahon said he began hitting Foster with a flashlight. At some point, Foster got up and “ripped” the flashlight from McMahon’s hand. The officer told investigators he feared for his life.

“This guy just took my light from me, we’re fighting and nothing I’ve used on him is working. He is gonna smack me in the head,” McMahon said to investigators. “He’s gonna take my gun and shoot me or he’s gonna beat me down with my own flashlight, and there’s nobody here to help me and nobody knows where I’m at.”

McMahon said he tried to activate his body camera throughout the encounter, pressed the button after shooting Foster. The system records the 30 seconds prior to activation without audio.

Foster was shot three times in his chest and once in the head, left shoulder, left arm and the right side of his back, autopsy records show. Marijuana, methamphetamine and amphetamine were found in Foster’s system.


Source: East Bay Vallejo cop involved in two fatal shootings in two years placed on leave

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