Toledo, OH – Police released dashcam video of an officer-involved shooting of a 25-year-old armed robbery suspect on Friday night in an effort to quell rising tensions in the city after rumors on social media claimed the police had shot an unarmed juvenile (video below).
Toledo Police Chief George Kral held a late evening press conference to explain the series of events that led to police fatally shooting Lamar Richardson at Lagrange and Hudson at about 5:30 p.m. on July 27, WTVG reported.
“We’ll see things in the video that are crystal clear,” Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz told reporters as he explained that they’d released the video quickly to quash rumors and misinformation.
Chief Kral explained that police had been looking for the suspect who had robbed four carryouts in Toledo since June 27, and that Richardson not only met the description of the suspect, but he had been named in multiple tips that were called in to Crimestoppers.
He said the Toledo Police Department’s SWAT team had been following Richardson in an effort to catch him in the act of holding up another carryout, WTVG reported.
The series that led up to the shooting began at about 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon, when dispatchers broadcasted a lookout for a stolen car on the East Side.
A marked patrol unit found the car and identified Richardson as the driver before they briefly pursued him, but the ultimately, the suspect car got away from officers.
Richardson was spotted on a bike at 5:25 p.m. by SWAT officers.
In the dashcam video released by police, Richardson was riding the bicycle down the sidewalk, but dumped it and ran when he saw the approaching police car.
One officer pursued Richardson on foot, the video showed.
The other officer tried to go around the block to “box him in,” Chief Kral explained at the press conference.
But the suspect doubled back at that point and crossed Lagrange Street, so the officer in the car did a three-point turn and headed back in the direction from which he’d come, the video showed.
As the police vehicle approached the intersection, Richardson can be seen running away on the opposite side of the street with the other officer chasing him on foot, the video showed.
The patrol unit approached Richardson just as another person ran away from the suspect, crossing the street.
Then Richardson turned and faced approaching officers, and pulled a black handgun out of his waistband with his right hand, the video showed.
“He’s not running… He’s not trying to get away,” the chief said, as he walked reporters through the video.
Witnesses told police they heard the officer yell for Richardson to “drop the gun” before they opened fire.
Richardson dropped to the ground, and the officers approached him, the video showed.
One officer kept his weapon steady on Richardson while the other went to the left side of the suspect and used his foot to kick the suspect’s gun out of reach, the video showed.
The Lucas County Coroner’s office released the autopsy report on Monday morning that showed Richardson had been shot three times. He was shot in the head, in a forearm, and in a foot, WTVG reported.
The chief said at the press conference that he knew critics would question the fact that Richardson hadn’t actually shot at the officers.
“This may sound harsh, but we don’t have to get shot at if we believe that a deadly force situation is at hand… he faced us, he was low ready. The officers saw the gun in his hand and they did what they had to do to protect themselves,” Chief Kral said.
He said Richardson had five outstanding warrants at the time of the shooting. One was a felony warrant for a stolen car, and four were misdemeanors, including domestic violence.
The chief also said that Richardson had “28 priors,” WTVG reported.
You can see the video of the officer-involved shooting below: