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Tucson police video shows officers confront, fatally shoot man who was shooting in yard

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5519   1 month ago
ThisIsButter | 447 subscribers
5519   1 month ago
The Tucson Police Department released a "critical incident briefing" featuring edited body-camera footage of a fatal police shooting of an armed man in a fenced area of a business on Oct 5.

Sgt. Richard Gradillas, a department spokesman, acting as the briefing's narrator, said police were called about 2 p.m. to a business near Fort Lowell Road and Estrella Avenue with reports that a man armed with a gun was shooting indiscriminately in the business's fenced yard.

The briefing shows surveillance footage of the man, later identified as 23-year-old Dante Laster, pacing around the yard. Audio of a 911 call features a woman telling the operator that Laster refused to leave and was firing at nearby housesand people in the yard.

The briefing features body-camera footage of an officer with several others taking cover by a structure with rifles aimed at Laster. One officer can be heard telling Laster that he has water for him while repeatedly urging Laster to put the gun down.

Gradillas said Laster was seen pointing the gun to his head but it can't be made out in the video.

Officers comment that Laster appears to have dropped his gun's magazine then order him to not put the magazine back in, but he leans down anyway.

An officer continues to order Laster to put the gun down when Laster can be heard saying, "I'm gonna shoot this b---- anytime," seconds before multiple gunshots are heard. Police say officers fired after Laster fired multiple shots, and Laster can be heard shrieking in pain and saying "all right" after the final gunshot.

The officer who told Laster to drop the gun then orders him to throw the gun down as others comment on his positioning and whether they have a sight on him. It's unclear how long police remained in a standoff with Laster, as the briefing then cuts to footage of officers rendering emergency aid. Laster was taken to a local hospital but later died.

Gradillas said officers found multiple bullet holes in a house south of the business yard and that one bullet narrowly missed a resident who was inside during the shooting.

The officer who shot Laster was Officer Michael Cooper, a three-and-a-half year veteran with the department. Gradillas said a criminal and administrative investigation into the shooting had begun as is standard protocol.
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