Investigators say Anton Barrett, Sr. died after being rushed to the hospital. His family says he did have his issues with police, having had several run-ins with the law, but they also say he was living a full and productive life and did not deserve to be gunned down.
"Yes he had DUIs, but he wasn't a bad guy," Tasha Perry said about Barrett, the father of her 10-year-old son. "For him to not have had a gun on him and for them to shoot him down like that, I think that was very brutal and wrong, and I just want justice to be served."
But police tell a different story. They say Barrett was driving a white Lexus without its headlights on near an intersection where they were conducting a routine DUI checkpoint. When Barrett failed to stop, they went after him. The chase ended at an apartment complex where Barrett and two other male passengers jumped out of the car and ran.
Barrett was confronted by an officer and told to show his hands. The officer says instead, Barrett ran towards him, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a dark colored metal object. The officer claims he was forced to fire on Barrett multiple times and that when Barrett tried to get up after being shot, another officer tased him to subdue him. Barrett died later at a hospital from his injuries.
"It's only upon close examination that you would see that it is not a gun," Sgt. Jeff Bassett said. Police now say the object in question wasn't a weapon but the victim's wallet.
"How many times do you have to shoot to stop someone?" Perry asked. She says Barrett may have ran because he was afraid of getting another DUI and losing his job "Unarmed, and had a cardholder in his pocket," she said. She believes excessive force was used and is pressing Vallejo police for answers.
"When you're talking about fractions of seconds, there's not a lot of time to assess," Bassett said Monday. Police say one of the two other men who ran was Barrett Sr.'s son, Anton Barrett, Jr. He is in police custody.
All the officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave.