Family Retains Civil Rights Lawyer After Officer-Involved Shooting in Danville

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The family of Tyrell Wilson, who died in a hospital Wednesday after being struck by gunfire in an officer-involved shooting in Danville last Thursday, has retained a civil rights lawyer to investigate the circumstances that led to his death. 

The Contra Costa Office of the Sheriff announced the death Wednesday afternoon and said it "is committed to full transparency of all the facts. Sheriff's investigators continue to work with the District Attorney's Office on investigating this incident pursuant to the countywide law enforcement involved fatal incident protocol." 

The incident began at 11:48 a.m. Thursday, when police dispatch received several calls from motorists regarding a man throwing rocks onto incoming Interstate 680 traffic while standing atop the Sycamore Valley Road overpass.  

A Danville police officer on Thursday shot a man in the middle of a busy street after the man pulled out a knife and advanced toward the officer, according to the town's police chief. Jodi Hernandez reports.

The account provided by the Office of the Sheriff is that Andrew Hall, a peace officer with the sheriff's department, arrived at the scene and contacted Wilson, who was in the area of Sycamore Valley Road and Camino Ramon, just east of the freeway. Hall approached Wilson and attempted to speak with him. Wilson then pulled out a folding knife and opened it. Hall ordered him to drop the knife several times. That is when Wilson approached Hall, who then discharged his weapon, striking Wilson once. 

"Tyrell's parents are concerned that the officer's statements are not totally truthful," the office of civil rights attorney John Burris of Oakland said in a statement. "Especially since an independent witness disputes the officer's account. The witness described a different account of how the incident occurred between Officer Hall and Mr. Wilson." 

Burris said the shooting "is the second use of deadly force by Officer Hall" and announced he will be "suing the officer and the department for civil rights violations for the prior use of deadly force." 

Hall, who is assigned to Danville under a contract with the county, has been a peace officer for seven and a half years and is on paid administrative leave per department policy, Lee said. 

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