Rochester, NY – The city released bodycam video on Wednesday of an officer-involved shooting of a homeless man who charged officers with a knife (video below).
The incident began just before 3 a.m. on March 10 after officers were called to the Open Door Mission homeless shelter located in the 200-block of West Main, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan said the man had reportedly stolen multiple knives and was threatening to cut himself.
Bodycam video from multiple officers showed the suspect on the sidewalk outside the homeless shelter when officers arrived.
The officers repeatedly told the man to drop the large knife he carried in his right hand, but the video showed he ignored their commands and instead, walked slowly and methodically toward them.
In the video, the man can be heard telling the officers “just shoot me” and advising them “I’m dangerous” over and over again.
“I’m going to kill you for Jesus,” the suspect told the officers at one point.
“I need you to not kill me for Jesus and drop the knife right now,” one of the officers responded.
Then he advised dispatch that the “individual has stated he does wish to kill us and he’s dangerous,” the video showed.
The officers backed away from the knife-wielding man as they continued to yell at him to stop and drop the knife.
Bodycam showed one of the officers radioed dispatch to send an officer with a Taser to the scene.
Chief Herriott-Sullivan said the officers backed up about 400 feet as the suspect methodically stomped toward them.
The wall behind the suspect showed his shadow holding the knife in the air as he walked, the video showed.
After a couple of minutes, the suspect suddenly picked up his speed and then lunged directly at one of the officers.
An officer opened fire and the suspect went down, still holding onto his knife, the video showed.
Officers immediately rendered aid to the suspect until medics arrived on the scene, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
He was shot at 3:07 a.m. and pronounced dead at Strong Memorial Hospital at 3:55 a.m., the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Chief Herriott-Sullivan said the officer discharged his weapon five times and the suspect was shot at least once in the upper body.
The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is conducted as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
The police chief said the city’s new Person in Crisis (PIC) team wasn’t called to the scene because things unraveled too quickly.
She also said the Monroe County Forensic Intervention Team wasn’t called to intervene because the suspect was “dangerous” and the situation remained fluid until after the shooting, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
The bodycam videos of the shooting were released to the public less than 24 hours after the incident occurred.
Police have not yet released the suspect’s name, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
The New York Attorney General’s Office is reviewing the incident to determine if they have jurisdiction over the case, The Washington Post reported.
The chair of the new Rochester Police Accountability Board (PAB), which was created after Daniel Prude died in the custody of Rochester police after suffering a mental breakdown, naked and in the middle of the street, on March 23, 2020, expressed her concern about the latest incident.
“This latest incident may raise the same questions our community has been asking for months about officer training, RPD culture, and the Person in Crisis Team,” PAB Chair Shani Wilson said.
A grand jury declined to indict any of the seven officers involved in Prude’s death in February.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content and Obscene Language: