Colorado Springs, CO – Colorado Springs police released bodycam video of the officer-involved shooting of 19-year-old De’Von Bailey on Thursday that showed the suspect reaching into his waistband as he fled (video below).
Colorado Springs Police Department Spokesperson Lieutenant Jim Sokolik told reporters that the shooting occurred while officers were responding to a robbery call at about 6:45 p.m. on Aug. 3, KKTV reported.
"Officers were dispatched to a personal robbery with a weapon in the 2400 block of East Fountain Boulevard,” Lt. Sokolik said. “They contacted the victims there, who pointed out two suspects."
A recording of the victim’s 911 call showed he told the dispatcher that he had been robbed while he was walking down the street.
“So, I’m walking down the street,” the victim told 911. “There are these two black guys. One of them has a gun. They approached me, and they’re like ‘what’s in your pockets?’”
The victim told them he didn’t really have anything on him but his answer was not good enough for the armed robbers.
He said “one of the guys started hitting me and I fall to the ground, and the other guy pulls out a gun, and he’s like “you better tell me what’s in your pockets.”
The victim told police that two men named “Spazz” and Lawrence took his wallet with his ID, social security card, a temporary ID, and a few dollars, the video showed.
He said that he was acquainted with the men who had robbed him and knew where they lived.
Officers responded to the area where the robbery occurred and spotted two men matching the description the victim had provided, the video showed.
Bodycam video released on Aug. 15 showed Colorado Police Sergeant Alan Van’t Land got out of his car to talk to Bailey and his cousin, 19-year-old Lawrence Stoker.
He let them know that they matched the description of two men who had just committed a crime.
“Oh, I didn’t touch him,” Bailey volunteered although the officer hadn’t asked him a question.
The video showed the officer asked for their names and Bailey denied that his nickname was “Spazz.”
Then Sgt. Van’t Land asked the men to put their hands up and explained that they were going to search them to make sure they didn’t have any weapons, the video showed.
As the sergeant was talking to the suspects, Colorado Springs Police Officer Blake Evenson worked his way around behind the men, the video showed.
When Sgt. Van’t Land told them they were going to be searched, Officer Evenson started to approach them.
That’s when Bailey took off running, the video showed.
As he fled from the officers, the video showed he reached toward his waistband as if to pull out a weapon.
An officer yelled at Bailey to put his “hands up” three times but video showed the suspect ignored the commands and continued to flee.
Both Sgt. Van’t Land and Officer Evenson opened fire and fatally shot Bailey.
The officers fired a total of eight shots, Colorado Public Radio reported.
After he was shot, Bailey fell to a sitting position on the pavement, and officers ordered him to put his hands up, the video showed.
He complied with their orders and then officers pushed him on to his stomach to apply handcuffs.
Officers began to search Bailey and found a gun between his legs.
It was caught in the fabric of his shorts, so one of the officer used a knife to cut the shorts off the suspect and free the handgun hidden inside them, the video showed.
Bailey was already bleeding badly from a wound to his back and officers immediately began performing First Aid.
He was transported to the hospital where he later died, the Denver Post reported.
Both Sgt. Van’t Land and Officer Evenson were assigned to the Sand Creek Division and have been on the Colorado Spring police force for 11 and seven years, respectively, Colorado Public Radio reported.
They have been placed on administrative leave while the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office investigates the incident, as is protocol for officer-involved shootings.
Former Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey told Colorado Public Radio that in Colorado, a police officer can shoot a fleeing suspect if they have been engaged in, or are suspected of, a felony.
"This is someone armed with a weapon would be fleeing into the community," Morrissey explained. "Colorado law allows a police officer to shoot that individual because they are potentially such a danger to other people in the neighborhood or in the community."
Bailey’s family demanded the quick release of the bodycam video and have called for a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting, the Denver Post reported.
They led protest marches to the police department in the days immediately after Bailey’s death.
Watch bodycam and surveillance video of the incident here below. The contact happens around the 10:30 mark. WARNING - Graphic Content.