Body camera footage captured in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 13 fatal shooting of Ricardo Muñoz was released for the first time on Wednesday.
The complete video, nearly seven minutes long and first reported by WITF, includes footage from the minutes immediately following the shooting.
Editor's note: This footage may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
Lancaster city police originally released about a minute of the footage just hours after the shooting occurred. It shows the officer approaching the home where Munoz lived on Laurel Street. His mother can be seen standing at the door, then Muñoz charges out of the house, knife in hand, and runs toward the officer, who retreats and fires four shots, all of which struck the 27 year old.
Police had been dispatched for a domestic disturbance. Muñoz’s family has said they called to get help for Muñoz, who had a history of mental illness, including schizophrenia.
The newly released video shows Muñoz’s mother, Miguel Peña, screaming and running to her son, who lies on the sidewalk. The officer says into his radio, “Shots fired, shots fired,” and gives the location of the shooting. The officer then tells Peña and neighbors who start to come out to stand back and return to their homes.
The video shows other police officers arriving at the scene, one of whom asks, “Where’s the gun?” The officer who shot Muñoz identifies himself as the shooter and says Muñoz had a knife. He then walks away, apparently with another officer, who asks if he is all right, to which he replies he is.
Another officer can be heard calling for evidence preservation.
The officer who shot Muñoz is then escorted to a police SUV, gets inside, is driven away and turns off his body camera.
The Lancaster County District Attorney’s office investigated whether the officer, who has not been identified, was justified in using lethal force and determined he was. An internal investigation by city police found he followed department policies and training.
“The gist of the city’s wrongdoing, whether intentional or simply incredibly inept, is that it responded to a call for medical assistance by sending the wrong emergency responders, which directly resulted in the death of the patient,” Mike Perna, one of the Muñoz family’s attorneys, said in an email Thursday.
Lancaster police declined to comment on the footage, referring questions to the district attorney’s office. Brett Hambright, a spokesman for the office, said investigators looked at the full video as part of its investigation.