Vallejo po­lice is­sues state­ment on shoot­ing

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - FRONT PAGE - By John Glid­den jglid­den@timesher­al­don­line.com @glid24 on Twit­ter Con­tact re­porter John Glid­den at 707-553-6832.

Eric Rea­son, 38, was shot in park­ing lot by off duty Rich­mond po­lice of­fi­cer on Nov. 10.

Vallejo po­lice have re­leased ad­di­tional de­tails about the fa­tal shoot­ing by an off-duty Rich­mond of­fi­cer which left a 38-year-old Vallejo man dead fol­low­ing an al­ter­ca­tion in­side the park­ing lot of JJ’s Fish and Chicken on Nov. 10.

Po­lice said Eric Rea­son, 38, was pulling away from the Valero gas sta­tion lo­cated in the same shopping cen­ter, when Sgt. Vir­gil Thomas, who was driv­ing his per­sonal ve­hi­cle, pulled into the park­ing lot.

“The two ve­hi­cles mo­men­tar­ily stopped while fac­ing one another and Sgt. Thomas honked his car horn to audi­bly warn the other driver of his im­me­di­ate pres­ence,” said Lt. Fabio Ro­driguez in a press re­lease.

As Thomas, a 27-year vet­eran of the force, parked his ve­hi­cle in one of the stalls and got out of his ve­hi­cle, Rea­son rolled down his car win­dow and be­gan shout­ing from his car, po­lice said. Rea­son then got out of his ve­hi­cle and walked to­ward Thomas while con­tin­u­ing to shout at him.

“Rea­son then walked back to his ve­hi­cle, opened the hood, and re­trieved a rag con­tain­ing a hand­gun,” Ro­driguez added. “Rea­son armed him­self with a hand­gun and ap­proached Sgt.Thomas a sec­ond time. Sgt. Thomas sub­se­quently drew his weapon and fired at Rea­son in re­sponse to an ob­served threat.”

Ro­driguez said Rea­son then fled with the gun in his hand “and at some point raised the gun.” That’s when Thomas, po­lice said, fear­ing for his safety and that of his wife, who was a pas­sen­ger in the car, and other per­sons in the area, fired his weapon again at Rea­son.

Rea­son was pro­nounced dead at the scene.

Reached for com­ment, Melissa Nold, an Oak­land civil rights at­tor­ney, who is rep­re­sent­ing Rea­son’s mother, said the facts don’t sup­port the ac­count of events re­leased by Vallejo po­lice.

“Not sur­pris­ingly, the nar­ra­tive pre­sented by the Vallejo Po­lice Depart­ment con­tra­dicts eye­wit­ness ac­counts,” Nold said.

“I can per­son­ally con­firm that Mr. Rea­son was shot in the back of the head and had bul­let wounds on the back of both arms, so I am hard pressed to un­der­stand how Mr. Rea­son, who never opened fire, was a threat to the of­fi­cer when was gunned down from a dis­tance while run­ning away.”

She also ques­tioned why Thomas may have been al­lowed to stand over the body of Rea­son af­ter the shoot­ing. Nold shared a photo on her Face­book page on Nov. 12 which pur­ports to show Thomas hold­ing his cell phone while in close prox­im­ity to Rea­son’s body. Rea­son is seen in the still im­age lay­ing face down in the mid­dle of Sereno Drive

“Not sur­pris­ingly, they have yet ex­plained why the homi­cide sus­pect was stand­ing over Mr. Rea­son’s body in vi­o­la­tion of their of­fi­cer-in­volved shoot­ing pro­to­col,” she added.

The Vallejo Po­lice Depart­ment didn’t re­turn a re­quest for com­ment on why Thomas was al­lowed to stand so close to the body and was the of­fi­cer se­questered af­ter the fa­tal shoot­ing.

Al­though Thomas wasn’t on-duty, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have in­voked Solano County’s pro­to­col for of­fi­cer-in­volved shoot­ings, which means the district at­tor­ney will join Vallejo po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate what hap­pened.

Rea­son, a fa­ther of six and con­struc­tion worker, was also known as Ched­daman, a lo­cal Vallejo rap­per who ap­peared on a pop­u­lar 2009 com­pi­la­tion al­bum “Coun­try Club Crest: 3 C’s Down.”

Mem­bers of Rea­son’s fam­ily, friends held a vigil in the park­ing lot the day af­ter the shoot­ing.

“My son was an awe­some young man. He was raised very well, very re­spect­ful. He had six kids and now his kids are fa­ther­less,” Rea­son’s mother, Stephanie Bass, told re­porters be­fore the vigil. “He didn’t de­serve to die like that.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion or who may have wit­nessed this in­ci­dent is en­cour­aged to con­tact De­tec­tive S. Yates (707) 648-4533 or De­tec­tive J. Scott (707) 648-4531.

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