Cedar Rapids, IA – Cedar Rapids police released bodycam video of the fatal officer-involved shooting last month of 22-year-old William Rich after he lunged at them repeatedly with a large rusty knife (video below).
The shooting occurred on Aug. 30 after Cedar Rapids police officers responded to multiple 911 calls reporting a domestic disturbance at the Inn Circle apartment project in the 5500-block of 6th Street Southwest, KGAN reported.
Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman said neighbors reported that Rich had choked, punched, and tried to drown his wife.
Bodycam video showed that when officers arrived on the scene, Rich was standing on the walkway outside the second-level unit arguing with his wife.
Cedar Rapids Police Sergeant Bryson Garringer and Cedar Rapids Police Investigator Christopher Christy approached Rich and tried to take him into custody, the video showed.
Video showed Rich resisted arrest violently and knocked Investigator Christy’s bodycam off him at the start of the struggle.
Bodycam showed that Rich had a long, rusty knife in his right hand as he fought with the officers.
Chief Jerman said Rich raised his arm and lunged toward the officers, prompting them to open fire, KGAN reported.
Three shots were fired and then Rich fell to the ground, still clutching the knife in his right hand, the video showed.
The officers ordered Rich to stay on the ground and drop the knife, but the bodycam showed he rolled back to his feet and lunged at the officers again with his knife in his hand, KGAN reported.
The officers opened fire on him a second time, each firing two more shots until Rich ceased to be a threat, the video showed.
Rich died from the gunshot wounds sustained during the incident, KGAN reported.
Activists initially claimed that Rich had been on his knees trying to surrender when he was shot, but the newly-released bodycam showed how the events actually unfolded.
Investigator Christy is a 14-year veteran of law enforcement and Sgt. Garringer has been on the police force for 12 years, KGAN reported.
Both officers were placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings.
Rich’s family had called for the bodycam videos to be released and officials said they were shown the footage before it was released to the public.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: