Denton, TX – A knife-wielding man was fatally shot by a veteran Denton police officer in February, after he charged at the officer while swinging the blade, recently released bodycam footage showed (video below).
The incident began at approximately 3 p.m. on Feb. 19, after Denton Police Officer John Landolfo and his trainee, Officer Je’Ni Nelson, investigated a motor vehicle collision, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported.
The officers were sitting in their patrol car, working on the crash report, when 45-year-old Lawrence Shaw approached their vehicle from behind, and began yelling at them.
The officers got out of their patrol car to check on Shaw, who was not involved in the collision, the Star-Telegram reported.
Shaw pulled out a knife, and began threatening the officers, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle.
He then walked away, and headed towards a heavily wooded area.
Officer Landolfo drew his weapon, and trailed behind Shaw as he walked along a dirt road, bodycam footage showed.
“Put the knife down!” the officer commanded. “Get down – now!”
“Put the knife down!” Officer Nelson said. “Stop walking!”
Shaw then marched out of the woods, and headed towards the officers.
“I’m going to tase you,” Officer Landolfo cautioned him, with his Taser pointed at the man.
Shaw began swinging the blade, and momentarily stumbled to the ground as the officer deployed the Taser.
“You’re gonna get it again,” Officer Landolfo said, while Shaw returned to his feet.
“Come on!” Shaw taunted him, as the Taser was deployed a second time. “Come on!”
He swung the knife wildly as he charge the officer, who rapidly drew his sidearm with his right hand and fired two rounds.
Shaw collapsed to the ground just feet away from Officer Landolfo.
“Shots fired, shots fired!” the officer said over the radio.
“Do not move!” he said, as he picked up Shaw’s knife and tossed it away. “Get a medic down here…He took one to the face, one to the chest.”
“Stay calm, brother,” he told Shaw, while sirens wailed in the distance. “I didn’t want to do that, man. I did not want to do that….We got help on the way.”
Shaw was pronounced dead at the scene, the Star-Telegram reported.
The Texas Rangers investigated the officer-involved shooting.
On May 3, a grand jury declined to file charges against Officer Landolfo, who has since returned to the street as a patrol officer, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported.
You can watch officers’ encounter with Shaw in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: