Sources identified Joshua Coleman as the officer who shot and wounded a person around 3 p.m. Thursday in North Vallejo. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.
Coleman was a Vallejo police officer from 2006 until 2008, when he joined the Napa Police Department. He returned to Vallejo in 2012 and worked there before joining the Napa County Sheriff’s Office in 2018. The sheriff’s office contracts with American Canyon to staff the city’s police department.
Coleman was in four shootings while a Vallejo officer, one of them fatal, Open Vallejo research shows. In 2020, this newsroom identified him as a participant in the department’s “Badge of Honor” ritual, in which officers bend a point on their star-shaped badges each time they kill a civilian. Two years later, Coleman testified in an unrelated criminal case that former Vallejo Police Lt. Kent Tribble bent his badge following the March 20, 2013 killing of William Heinze. Senior Vallejo officials illegally destroyed evidence in that killing and others in 2021.
Thursday’s shooting occurred after police tried to stop a Lexus for alleged vehicle code violations on Highway 29 near Kimberly Drive in American Canyon. The driver fled, reaching speeds of up to 90 mph and crossing into the opposite lane of traffic, according to scanner audio.
The chase ended on Cronin Drive in Vallejo when the Lexus crashed into a fence. Two armed individuals then ran from the car, according to a statement released Friday by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office, which is investigating the shooting through the agency’s Major Crimes Task Force.
Moments later, Coleman shot the suspect, who he claimed had a gun in his hand, according to police radio traffic.
“Shots fired, I’m okay,” Coleman said. “Suspect had a gun in his hand.”
Another officer asked, “Josh, where are you?” as law enforcement personnel descended on the scene.
The 18-year-old shooting victim is expected to survive, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Officers from multiple jurisdictions soon arrived and later took a second person into custody. Police recovered two firearms at the scene, according to a statement released Thursday by American Canyon police.
Coleman did not respond to a request for comment. American Canyon police spokesperson Henry Wofford did not respond to several calls and messages.
The shooting was Vallejo’s second in two months by an officer connected with the city’s badge-bending scandal. In November, Cpl. Matthew Komoda shot and wounded a 17-year-old robbery suspect who was allegedly armed with a handgun following a high-speed chase through the city.
Komoda has been in three other shootings since joining the Vallejo Police Department in 2014, Open Vallejo research shows. He previously worked at the Oakland Police Department.
The Vallejo Police Department has historically had one of the highest rates of shootings in the United States, data shows. In 2019, nearly 40 percent of officers then employed by the department had been in at least one shooting, and more than a third of those had participated in two or more, according to Open Vallejo research. On average, Vallejo police shot someone once every four months between 2000 and 2020, data shows.
The agency then went without a shooting for more than three years amid an investigation by the California Attorney General and the fallout from the badge-bending revelations. The record period of calm ended last June when a burglary suspect allegedly used a getaway vehicle to ram a Vallejo officer and was subsequently shot.