Vallejo police shortage encountered before officer-involved shooting
A shortage of available Vallejo police officers led the agency to request assistance from the Solano County Sheriff’s Office for an incident that ultimately led to the shooting death of a man on Sunday.
The request was affirmed in a press release issued on Monday by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office, with the victim identified as 29-year-old Jason Thompson of Fairfield.
The county prosecutor’s office said police began receiving several 9-1-1 calls about a carjacking along Curtola Parkway early Sunday evening. The district attorney’s office said the initial calls came in around 5:30 p.m.
Around 6:45 p.m., a dispatcher with the Vallejo Police Department alerted officers to a “51-50 subject cutting themselves with a knife,” using the numerical police code to indicate a person who is experiencing a mental health episode and who may present a danger to themselves or to others.
With no available police officers to respond to the call, the agency requested assistance from the Solano County Sheriff’s Office just before 7 p.m. when others began calling police to report the suspect was cutting himself in front of several businesses along Sutter Street.
Radio transmissions reviewed by Solano NewsNet show the dispatch operator in charge of deploying sheriff’s deputies to the scene never mentioned that the person may have been experiencing a mental health episode. Still, a deputy asked if the county’s mobile crisis intervention team was available to respond. The dispatcher said no.
Deputies arrived on the scene less than 10 minutes later. Twenty seconds passed between the time the first deputy arrived on the scene and the shooting. An eyewitness told Solano NewsNet at least one deputy fired their gun six times; others who were near the scene said they heard as many as a dozen gunshots.
In a press statement issued Monday, the Solano County District Attorney’s Office said Thompson advanced toward a county deputy while armed with the knife.
“After refusing numerous commands to stop advancing toward the deputies, Mr. Thompson — still armed — continued to advance and a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” a spokesperson for the county prosecutor’s office said.
Thompson was taken to a local hospital by ambulance, where he died from his injuries sustained in the shooting.
The Solano County Major Crimes Task Force will investigate the shooting, according to the Solano County Sheriff’s Office. The task force, which was formed by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office, comprises law enforcement personnel from each city agency in Solano County as well as the sheriff’s office.