The family of an aspiring rapper is demanding answers after he was fatally shot by six Vallejo, Calif., police officers, who said he was asleep in his car with a gun in his lap, writes the Huffington Post.
Oakland attorney Melissa Nold, who observed the body of Willie McCoy, 20, last week, told NBC News, “Overkill is an understatement.”
Officers pumped at least 25 bullets into the body of the California native and Nold said he also sustained injuries to his shoulders, chest and arm, during the Feb. 9 encounter with six officers in a Taco Bell parking lot. He sustained injuries to the center of his face and throat and part of his ear was blown off.
A coroner’s report has not been released and Vallejo police have declined to comment during the active investigation, CBS reports.
McCoy —known by his stage name Willie Bo — had been touring and in the recording studio in recent days and his family believes that when he hit up the Taco Bell for a bite to eat, he was so exhausted that McCoy fell asleep while waiting in the drive-thru.
Employees called police when they saw him slumped behind the wheel with the engine running, Vallejo police said in a statement.
The responding officers claim the doors to McCoy’s Mercedes-Benz were locked and they tried to wake him up. Police said once he awakened, they gave him “several commands to put his hands up.”
Rather than comply, police claim, he “quickly moved his hands” down to the gun, the report states.
Six officers “fearing for their safety” opened fire for several seconds, police added.
Officers continued to yell commands at the driver and ultimately reached through the broken glass of the driver’s window to unlock the vehicle,” they said.
McCoy died at the scene, and his family has questions.
“Suppose he was having a medical emergency and needed help. Their reaction wasn’t can we get this person safely out of the car,” said Nold, the family’s attorney.
“Even under the worst case scenario, you still have an obligation to try and avoid the use of deadly force,” she added.
Vallejo police are working with the Solano County District Attorney’s Office on the investigation.
Police will reportedly be required to release body and dash cam video within 45 days, according to California law.