SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The girlfriend of the man shot and killed by Sacramento Police is speaking out, saying she warned officers he was holding a plastic gun.
Sonja Morrow looks at pictures of her longtime boyfriend, Matt Coates. It’s only been a day since he was sleeping inside this home they shared when morrow says police suddenly showed up – hours after their fight – asking for him.
He stood at a doorway and grabbed something she says looked like this:
“I told them, ‘It’s just a plastic gun, it’s just a plastic gun.’ And they shot him,” Morrow said. “He shot him twice in the chest.”
But Sacramento Police say the gun looked real.
“The officers, in fear for their lives, fired shots at the suspect,” said Officer Traci Trapeni from the Sacramento Police Department.
Morrow says her boyfriend, bleeding, crawled his way outside the home.
The 42-year-old was taken to the hospital, where he died.
Morrow says investigators kept her for six hours at the police station.
“[They] told me they didn’t know nothing about him and they knew he was dead the whole time,” Morrow said.
Morrow admits she and her boyfriend had problems. She says Coates was bipolar, money was tough, and he had hit her in the past.
“We had some issues, but we loved each other,” Morrow said.
Now she is only comforted by her son and memories of the man she loved.
Someone left a sign that reads “Matt’s life had value. Pause,” on her car – a message Morrow believes is important to remember.
Sacramento police say they later determined the suspect’s gun to be a black, semi-automatic BB gun which they say looks just like a real handgun.
Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.