The Louisville (Ky.) Metro Police Department has released body-camera video showing the shooting of an unarmed black man that occurred almost immediately after an officer shouted at him to put his hands up.
According to the Courier-Journal, Police Chief Steve Conrad said that he was reserving judgement until the completion of an internal investigation after the video was released Thursday.
The victim, 38-year-old Bruce Warrick, is currently in the hospital in critical condition after being shot in the stomach.
The incident unfolded Wednesday morning as three officers searched an abandoned house after receiving reports about a man using drugs outside the residence before going inside.
In the video, officers are seen shouting as they walk around inside the house, identifying themselves multiple times and asking anyone there to come out with their hands up.
Eventually, Officer Sarah Stumler approaches a box spring leaning against the wall. Peeking behind the box spring, she sees Warrick hiding. Stumler shouts, “Show your hands,” before almost immediately discharging her weapon.
She fires once and then is heard saying, “Shit.”
Officers guide Warrick to the floor as he doubles over in pain and place handcuffs on him. The officers wait for an ambulance, applying pressure to Warrick’s wound. Stumler can be heard saying, “You’re fine, man,” and “You’re OK, just hold on.”
Warrick had to undergo surgery to remove parts of his intestines and pancreas, activist Christopher 2X, who was speaking on behalf of Warrick’s mother and grandmother, told the Courier-Journal. 2X said that one of Warrick’s cousins has seen the footage and appreciated the disclosure, “but felt nothing he saw gave him an indication that his cousin was posing a threat to the officers in the room.”
2X acknowledged that Warrick’s family was aware of his drug issues, adding that Warrick, who is now homeless, was enrolled in substance-abuse classes and spoke with his family more than a week ago and was in “great spirits.”
“What his mother and grandmother have told me about him is that he had trouble with substance abuse but he was a very passive individual,” 2X said. “It was not uncommon when he was depressed or anything like that to go to abandoned houses and sleep there.”
Stumler, who has been with the department for about eight years, has been placed on administrative leave and her police powers suspended, pending an investigation. The Commonwealth of Kentucky Attorney’s Office will determine whether further investigation is needed or if criminal charges will be filed, while an internal Professional Standards Unit investigation will determine if any departmental polices were violated.
Officers Branden Lammers and Aaron Seneker were also in the house with Stumler at the time of the shooting but did not fire their weapons.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also issued a statement after the shooting, asking for patience throughout the investigation.
“In the wake of yesterday’s shooting, I ask for the community to join me in prayer and compassion for Mr. Bruce Warrick and Officer Sarah Stumler and their families,” the statement read. “Chief Conrad and I are committed to a thorough investigation into the circumstances, and a fully transparent process, which started with releasing the body camera video a day after the incident. I urge patience as we undertake a thorough investigation—for Mr. Warrick, for Officer Stumler, and for our entire community.”
Read more at the Courier-Journal.