Asheville, NC – The Buncombe County district attorney has released bodycam footage that showed a motel patron stabbing an officer before he was shot by police.
The incident occurred at the Town Motor Lodge at approximately 7:45 a.m. on May 11, after Asheville police received a report that a man was “screaming and damaging property” inside one of the rooms, the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
Asheville Police Lieutenant Michael Lamb responded to the scene and spoke with the motel manager, who identified the man causing the disturbance as 37-year-old Jonathan Bedrosian.
Lt. Lamb indicated he was familiar with Bedrosian, and that he and other officers had dealings with him in the past.
“Jon is a drug addict but he’s also, I think, a schizophrenic,” the lieutenant explained to the motel manager, according to WLOS.
The manager told police that Bedrosian had checked in a few days prior, but that he was no longer welcome at the motel.
“He’s just been on a tangent,” the manager explained. “I want him out. He’s got to go right now.”
Lt. Lamb and the manager headed over to Bedrosian’s unit, but the irate man refused to come outside or to leave the premises.
Bodycam footage showed Lt. Lamb and other officers as they strategized how to best handle the situation, and discussed their prior dealings with Bedrosian.
One occasion included a 10-hour standoff, the officers said.
“Last time he had a knife,” the lieutenant calmly told the officers. “He was completely naked and kept saying he was going to cut his private off.”
Despite requests from the manager and police, Bedrosian refused to exit his motel room and “could be heard inside the room screaming, yelling, speaking gibberish, and singing songs,” the press release said.
After they unsuccessfully attempted to enter the room using the manager’s master key, Lt. Lamb climbed up to the balcony of Bedrosian’s unit instead.
Once upstairs, he made his way to a sliding door that was partially ajar, and began to slide it open.
“As Lamb began to open the door, Bedrosian charged at Lamb with a box cutter in his right hand and began stabbing and slashing Lamb,” the district attorney’s office said.
As the lieutenant struggled with Bedrosian, seven gunshots rang out, the video showed.
“Lt. Lamb discharged his service weapon at Bedrosian seven times,” the district attorney’s office explained. “Three rounds hit Bedrosian.”
Even after the shooting, Bedrosian was combative while officers secured him in handcuffs and began to render first aid.
During a press conference Tuesday morning, Asheville Police Chief Tammy Hooper said Lt. Lamb followed protocol and had acted in self-defense, WLOS reported.
“[Lamb] had more than seven cuts and slashes and stab wounds to his head,” Chief Hooper explained. “He also had a stab wound to his upper chest, and he was also cut underneath his arm.”
Lt. Lamb and Bedrosian both survived the altercation.
“I am very grateful for the outpouring of support from our wonderful community,” Lt. Lamb said in a news release, according to WHNS. “My family and I truly appreciate the prayers, phone calls, and letters that we received from everyone.”
On Aug. 20, the district attorney cleared Lt. Lamb of any wrongdoing.
Bedrosian pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon on a governmental official and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and was sentenced to 36 to 56 months in prison, according to the district attorney’s press release.
He was also ordered to receive psychiatric treatment, WLOS reported.
You can watch bodycam footage of Lt. Lamb’s encounter with Bedrosian in the video below: