An Evansville police officer shot and killed a suspect in Indiana recently, thinking the man reached for a gun. Recently released officer body cam footage shows the suspect reach for something, an object that turned out to be a hammer. In the footage, the officer breaks down, visibly shaken from the encounter.
Evansville PD Officer Breaks Down Following Shooting
The incident began when an officer approaches the vehicle of 45-year-old Terry W. Chanley following a traffic accident. When the officer asks Chanley for his license and registration, the man begins acting erratic. After merely a routine question, the suspect suddenly begins reaching down in the vehicle for something, putting the officer on alert.
“At the beginning it was just like any other crash investigation,” said Sgt. Jason Cullum, a police spokesman, according to wane.com. “We don’t know why he (Chanley) acted as he did. The officer took actions as he was trained to do.”
Footage clearly shows the officer immediately begin creating space, backing away from the vehicle. “Woah, woah, woah, woah,” the officer cautions. The officer repeatedly commands the man to show his hands.
But the man refuses to comply. After several repeated warnings, it appears the suspect makes a move toward the officer. That’s when the officer from the Evansville PD finally shoots the suspect. Meanwhile, the suspect, even after taking rounds, continues toward the officer, who fires again.
As tragic as the shooting is, however, arguably the lasting image is the officer himself. The officer’s voice and actions show him shaken to his core following the shooting.
“The person you hear on that video after this starts to get toward the tail end, is not some trigger-happy policeman,” Cullum said. “It is a public servant, who has dedicated years of his life to the community. He is a father, he is a husband. That is what comes after this is making sure their mental health is taken care of.”