Shock footage released by Oklahoma authorities Friday shows the moment a Muskogee police officer made a split-second decision to shoot an armed man last week during a foot chase.
Body-cam video shows officer Chansey McMillin confront a man identified as Terence Walker, 21, on the afternoon of Jan. 17. According to police, the man had sent death threats to his girlfriend, who was inside a nearby church attending a wedding, Tulsa World reported.
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McMillin is first seen in the video approaching Walker and patting him down. When the officer appeared to feel the 21-year-old’s firearm, the man turned on the cop and ran.
During the brief pursuit, cops say Walker dropped his loaded firearm and picked it up before pointing it at McMillin.
That’s when the officer is seen in the video firing five rounds at him. Walker fell to the ground and tumbled in a ditch. The bullets struck the 23-year-old in the torso and neck, officials said.
As McMillin called on the radio for backup, a man confronted the officer.
“Don’t shoot no more. Please!” he said.
“Get back! Get back! Get back!” the officer instructed the man.
Reinforcements are seen in the video soon arriving and securing the scene as a crowd of onlookers grew.
The nearby church pastor arrived on the scene and assured officers that McMillin “followed procedures” and “did everything right.”
Nevertheless, the officer later became emotional, at one point bowing his head over a squad car.
“Why did (Walker) have to do that?” he asked as another officer consoled him.
WARNING: Footage is graphic and may not be suitable for all audiences:
Cops say they wanted to release the video quickly to dispel any rumors circulating.
“We’ve seen a lot of departments have a bunker mentality and sort of enclosed themselves and not be real open with the public,” department spokesman Sgt. Michael Mahan told WTVR-TV. “We’re trying to set a precedent. We think this doesn’t allow any speculation to foster within the community and lets all the facts come out.”
However, despite this, some of Walker’s friends still remained skeptical that lethal force was needed, according to Tulsa World.