A new video has surfaced that clearly shows a Wilmington, Delaware police officer gunning down a suicidal man who was confined to a wheelchair.
The fairly short video is only 1:19 long. It was recorded by an eye-witness on a smartphone and was uploaded to YouTube.
Several gunshots can be heard in the short video, as well as profuse screaming by the officer, that seems to be escalating things, rather than talking the man out of killing himself.
Police claim that at approximately 3:07 pm, they received a 911 call that there was a man suffering from a possible self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police arrived to find a man in a wheelchair who was paralyzed from the waist down. He was indeed armed with a handgun, but was suicidal. He never aimed at police officers at all. Still, police officers decided to give the suicidal man his wish and send him to an early grave instead of talking with him and convincing him not to kill himself.
“He pulled out his gun. He was trying to shoot himself up there,” Sean Owens said. He witnessed the whole incident. “I think he may have shot himself once or twice, but he shot the other shots in the air.”
Family of the victim identified him as Jeremy McDowell, 28, and according to police sources, he died at the scene when the officer unloaded on him.
The officer can be seen in the video yelling for McDowell to show his hands. Then a gun shot can be heard and the officer yells: “Show me your hands! Drop the gun! Drop the gun!”
Witnesses say that first gunshot was the officer shooting McDowell.
The video does not show the handgun in McDowell’s hand, but eyewitnesses agree with police that he had one. The only difference is that witnesses say he only ever aimed it at himself, and not at the police officer.
McDowell moved in the wheelchair, as he was bleeding from what seems to be the initial gunshot by the police officer.
Only 57 seconds later, multiple officers unload at least 10 rounds that hit McDowell, who then drops to the ground, dead.
Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings says “the officers acted professionally.”
He emphasized that a .38-caliber handgun was recovered, which was of course never in doubt. The man was suicidal. He was armed to harm himself, not the officers. All witnesses agree that he never shot at, nor threatened the officers, only himself. Chief Cummings calls killing a suicidal man who never threatened anyone but himself, the act of a “professional.”
“The officers perceived what was a threat and they responded and they engaged,” Cummings continued.
McDowell’s family wants to know why they didn’t use a taser on him, since he was threatening no one.
“Why couldn’t you tase this man out of his wheelchair,” his sister, Letesha Green asked. “Why couldn’t you use rubber bullets to get him out of the wheelchair?”
Watch the local report in the video below…
(Article by S. Wooten and M. David)