California Cop Who Shot 18-Year-Old Had His Bodycam Off, But Surveillance Footage Captured Him Shooting Suspect in the Back as He Fled

Vallejo police shooting
Stills from the surveillance footage show the officer shooting the fleeing suspect in the back. Twitter

On Wednesday, March 13, the Napa County District Attorney's Office released surveillance footage of a shooting by an American Canyon police officer in Vallejo that took place in January.

The clip shows the officer shooting a fleeing suspect in the back as he appears to be disposing off his guns.

Body Camera Footage of Shooting Wasn't Released as Batteries Had Died

The shooting took place in the the Country Club Crest neighborhood of Vallejo on Jan 11, as reported by the Vallejo Sun. The sheriff's office did not release body camera video of the shooting as the sheriff's office said Officer Joshua Coleman's body camera batteries died before the pursuit and he hadn't been able to return to the charging station.

The video shows Coleman running after the suspect, later identified as 18-year-old Demarea Vaughn Rogers III. Rogers appears to throw one gun away. As he chased Rogers, Coleman said, "drop the gun or I'll shoot you." Just as Coleman fired twice, another gun appeared to fly from Rogers' hand into a front yard.

'Shots Fired'

The shooting happened after an officer attempted to pull over a car for a vehicle code violation in the area of state Highway 29 and American Canyon Road at about 3:15 p.m., according to a statement by American Canyon police.

Police then continued pursuing the vehicle, a tan Lexus, until the car's tire blew out. Multiple people emerged from the vehicle before it crashed into a fence. Heavily redacted dash camera video shows Coleman and Officer Cassaundra Fallon arrive and chase after two suspects who ran in different directions. Coleman said "shots fired" on the radio a short time later.

The department provided body camera video that shows Coleman as he is kneeling next to Rogers. Sheriff's spokesperson Henry Wofford said that Fallon handed her body camera to Coleman because his was not working. The county's disclosures did not include body camera video of Fallon arriving at the scene or chasing the other suspect. Coleman appears to be alone when the video begins, and Fallon arrives a short time later.

'Don't Let Me Die'

The video appears to show Coleman's first interactions with Rogers as he tries to render him aid, just after shooting him twice.

"Hey buddy, where are you hit, bro?" Coleman asks Rogers in the video. "I got you. Hold on, I'm going to save your life."

"Don't let me die," Rogers said. "I just want to see my mom."

"I thought you were going to try and pull that gun on me," Coleman said.

"I wasn't bro," Rogers said.

Coleman has Been Involved in Four Other Shootings, was Previously Implicated in Fatal Shooting Scandal

Rogers survived the shooting but pleaded no contest to carrying a loaded firearm and obstructing a peace officer on Feb. 21, according to court records. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22.

Coleman is a former Vallejo police officer who joined the Napa sheriff's office in 2018 and works as a school resource officer at American Canyon High School. The shooting was Coleman's fifth as a law enforcement officer, including four shootings in Vallejo. That number of shootings is far higher than most other officers.

Coleman was implicated in court testimony in 2022 for participating in the Vallejo police badge bending scandal, where officers bent the tips of their badges to mark fatal shootings. Coleman testified his badge was bent against his will, but a department superior testified that he was more involved than he said and may have even helped spread the practice to other officers.

Coleman refused to be interviewed for an investigation into the badge bending practice commissioned by the city of Vallejo and conducted by former Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano.