Chandler police release bodycam footage from shooting that killed Kevin Smallman

Chandler police officer was dragged alongside a moving vehicle when he shot and killed 32-year-old Kevin Smallman during an investigation into a stolen car, body camera footage released Monday by the Chandler Police Department shows.

The detailed video briefing comes nearly six months after the Jan. 27th shooting but during a moment when police departments across the country are under increased scrutiny for their use of force. In Phoenix, protesters congregated with renewed fervor after police officers shot and killed James Garcia in his car on the Fourth of July.

The shooting that killed Smallman started as a theft investigation, officials said. Phoenix police detectives requested help from Chandler police in apprehending a white Toyota Prius that was believed to be stolen, according to the briefing.


On Jan. 26, the day before the shooting, Chandler police Officer Jonathan Castlegrante attempted to stop the Prius near Alma School and Warner roads, but the driver fled to an unknown location, police said.

Castlegrante located the vehicle the following day at a Hampton Inn near Chandler Boulevard and 56th Street. He observed two people, later identified as Kevin Smallman and Krystal Ehrlich, walk away from the Prius and into the hotel. He apprehended them near the building's elevators, police said.


Chandler police did not release video for the full length of the encounter and instead interspersed the footage from Castlegrante's body camera with captioned messages and aerial views of the hotel parking lot. Castlegrante was the only officer involved in the shooting, police said.

In the video, Smallman tells the officer he doesn't have any weapons on him and denies driving the Prius. He and Ehrlich had walked to the hotel where a friend was staying, Smallman can be heard saying in the footage. He stands in a possible attempt to leave.


"You're detained. You can't leave," Castlegrante says in the video.

At one point, the video shows Smallman stand and walk into the elevator, and Castlegrante pulls him out, yelling at him to sit down. Smallman then runs down the hallway with Castlegrante chasing after him. Police said Smallman entered the Prius, and Castlegrante attempted to pull him from the driver's seat.

During the struggle, Castlegrante was pinned between Smallman and the driver's seat with his legs sticking out of the vehicle, according to the briefing. Ehrlich had also entered the Prius behind the driver's seat.

Smallman started the car, driving 400 feet and up to 40 mph while Castlegrante's legs were hanging out, police said.

Only hands and glimpses of the dashboard lights can be seen on video in the darkness and scuffle. Castlegrante warned Smallman to stop the car, yelling, "You're going to get shot!" and "I'm going to shoot you!" more than 10 times. He then fires a single shot.

Within seconds, the car crashed into a wall on Southgate Drive, according to Chandler police. The department said all three people in the car were taken to a hospital, where Smallman was pronounced dead.

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By: ThisIsButter (44151.30)

Tags: bodycam footage, officer involved shooting