Surveillance video raises questions about police’s version of deadly officer-involved shooting

Surveillance video of a deadly police shooting in Aberdeen Monday is raising questions about the official statement from the city’s police department.

The shooting happened around noon after police say 41-year-old Kristopher Fitzpatrick was walking near Broadway and Heron Streets when an officer spotted him. Fitzpatrick had several outstanding warrants out for his arrest, including felony charges for drug possession.

According to the Aberdeen Police Department, Fitzpatrick began yelling at officers, saying he refused to go back to prison and fled. An officer chased Fitzpatrick on foot and shot him after police say he brandished a gun.

“The individual displayed a firearm, pointed it in the direction of my officer, the individual was ordered to drop the firearm. The officer who was in foot pursuit then discharged his firearm several times, striking the individual,” Aberdeen Police Chief Steve Shumate said Monday.

However, new surveillance video appears to show a different version of the confrontation. Fitzpatrick can be seen in a parking lot shouting at officers when a patrol car parks directly in front of him.

Fitzpatrick approaches the officer, still in their car, when he’s shot. He was rushed to the hospital where he later died.

A person close to Fitzpatrick’s family says she’s doubtful Fitzpatrick was pointing a weapon at officers when he was shot, saying “I’m no forensic scientist, but it doesn’t look like this man pulled a gun on anybody.”

Though Shumate was adamant that Fitzpatrick was armed during the confrontation.

“I do know he had a pistol in his possession,” he said. “When I arrived on scene after the shooting had occurred, the pistol was still in close proximity to the man.”

The shooting is under investigation by the Region Three Sheriff's Offices, a consortium of several law enforcement agencies, with the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office taking lead.

Grays Harbor Sheriff Rick Scott says the viral video was only a small portion of one of the full videos. He said other surveillance camera videos captured other moments involved in the case. He said what was circulating on social media did not tell the whole story.

“When you look at that video, it’s easy to interpret it in a variety of ways,” he said. “I can tell you many theories were called in based on what this person thinks happened based on watching the video.”

Scott confirmed the 41-year-old man had a gun, which was taken into evidence. The sheriff said officers did not taser the man.

The officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

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By: ThisIsButter (36414.10)

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