(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) — Newly released body camera video has shed new light into an officer-involved shooting in New Haven, Connecticut, that’s prompted protests.
Stephanie Washington, 22, was shot in the torso on April 16 in New Haven when an officer from the neighboring town of Hamden and another from Yale University unleashed a barrage of gunfire on the red Honda Civic that her boyfriend Paul Witherspoon was driving, authorities said.
The shooting unfolded at about 4:20 a.m. after Hamden police responded to a call of an attempted armed robbery at a gas station in Hamden, according to state police.
A car allegedly matching the description of the one leaving the scene of the attempted robbery was spotted on Dixwell Avenue in New Haven, state police said. Police stopped the Honda Civic that Washington and Witherspoon were in.
In the video, Witherspoon opens the door and within seconds, his hands go up and he is shot at by police. He was not struck.
The Yale officer did not have his dash camera or body camera on. The Hamden officer turned his body camera on just before the incident.
Commissioner James Rovella said “There were indications that he was told to open the door… or come out with his hands up.”
A surveillance video obtained by ABC News shows another vantage point – again appearing to show Witherspoon being shot at by police while his hands are in the air.
“I thought I was already dead because he pointed it right at me,” Witherspoon told ABC affiliate station WTNH-TV in New Haven.
Investigators said Washington, who was in the passenger’ seat, was shot in the torso. She is now in stable condition at a nearby hospital.
Rovella said there was “no gun found.”
The officers involved claimed the driver made an abrupt movement and ignored commands.
In response to the incident, hundreds of Yale students have called for the two officers who fired their guns to step down.
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut State’s Attorney’s Office. The officers have not commented on the incident.
Rovella said he has many concerns about how this case was handled.
The state’s attorney is continuing their investigation into the shooting.
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