Dozens took to the streets in Vista on Saturday to protest the death of a man shot and killed by Sheriff's deputies last month.
“Justice for Sergio Weick!” was the cry from family members and police protesters during their march, more than one month after Weick’s death.
Loved ones remembered Weick as a husband and father of five children who had kids as young as 18 months old and as old as 14 years old.
“What they did was wrong,” Weick’s widow, Nena, said of the deputies involved. “They have killed, they have murdered their father. They will go on with life without their father.”
Nena marched through the streets with her five children and dozens of others protesting police brutality.
But San Diego County Sheriff's investigators paint a different picture of Weick, who was a documented gang member.
More than one month before Saturday’s march though Vista, authorities say they had a warrant for Weick’s arrest connected to a SWAT stand-off in 2015.
On August 11, 2016, deputies say they spotted Weick driving near the intersection of North Santa Fe Avenue and Knapp Drive. Deputies recognized the driver of the Lexus as a known gang member who had an active felony warrant for his arrest.
Investigators say Weick refused to pullover for the deputies, leading them on an 8-minute chase that ended in a town home complex in the 100 block of Bronze Way. It’s still unclear exactly what happened next.
Authorities say Weick crashed and continued on foot and “at some point along the narrow walkway, the suspect and deputies became involved in a confrontation,” the original press release stated. “During that confrontation, two deputies fired multiple rounds, striking the suspect several times.”
Officials later identified those two Vista deputies as Peter Myers, an 8-year veteran on the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and Christopher Villanueva, who has been with the department for two months in addition to two years’ experience as a police officer with another law enforcement agency.
Weick went to the hospital in critical condition and later died. Homicide investigators say the autopsy report showed the cause of death was “trauma from multiple gunshot wounds.”
“He didn't deserve to get shot down like he didn't matter, because he does,” said Weick’s cousin Johnny Hoyt.
Hoyt says deputies aren't telling the whole story and that they must be held accountable.
“We need people out there upholding the law that we can turn to, that we can respect," he said. "People that respect life.”
Shortly after the incident detectives completed their search of the car Weick was driving. They found “a sawed-off shotgun, multiple knives, a sword, additional ammunition for the shotgun and drug paraphernalia” inside the car.
“The Vista Sheriff's Department will forever in my eyes be the Vista Savage Department,” Hoyt said. He says Weick’s body was riddled with 26 gunshot wounds, though investigators have not confirmed how many times he was shot or where.
“We know what he was, we know what he was about but he was also our family member and we miss him,” he said.
Hoyt and others are now pleading for witnesses of the shooting to come forward.
Sheriff’s detectives with the Homicide Unit were not available Saturday to give any updates on the investigation.