Newly released video; Jun 10, 2008 11:22 pm US/Central
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ― In October 2006, six police officers shot at Wayne Reyes along Hiawatha Avenue in South Minneapolis. All together, they fired 42 rounds in a matter of seconds. Sixteen shots hit Reyes and two were fatal. All of it was recorded on the dash cameras of two of the three squads involved.
Eventually, the Minneapolis Police Department plans to use this rare video to train new officers.
"It's not just a war story. It's something we can sit them down in the academy and play this tape and go 'This is what happened to someone shortly out of the academy. This is the situation you can be faced with,'" said Minneapolis Police Sgt. Bill Palmer.
The video starts just before midnight Oct. 27, 2006. In one squad, a rookie officer was driving and a veteran officer was in the passenger seat. They responded to a domestic call of Reyes stabbing his girlfriend in the leg. The dispatcher told them he may be armed with a shotgun.
"In the interest of making sure we go home at the end of our shift, you're going to treat them like that gun is present until you know that gun is not," said Palmer.
When the officers arrive at the scene, other officers tell them that Reyes ran out the back door. Two squads chased him down Hiawatha Avenue where he stopped moments later.
Eighteen seconds after the squads pulled up, Reyes opened the door to his truck. The video shows he had been fiddling with something in the front seat of the vehicle.
When Reyes opened the door, he swung out something in the shape of a thin tube. Officers at the scene identified it as a gun. An investigation later found it was an unloaded shotgun.
"When you spend a good period of your life looking for things that can kill you, you get pretty good at picking up on those things," Palmer said.
A grand jury eventually cleared all six officers of any wrongdoing.
Police showed the video to Reyes' family who said it did nothing to explain the situation.
"I didn't see no shotgun. They didn't even give him a chance to come out of the truck. They just shot at him and he fell out," said Violet Reyes, Reyes' mother.
All six officers are still on the Minneapolis police force. Nationwide, 20 to 25 percent of officers leave law enforcement after being involved in an officer-involved shooting.