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Andre Hill did not appear to pose any threat before he was shot, officer tells investigators

An officer at the scene of a police-involved shooting in Columbus, Ohio, last week told investigators Andre Hill did not appear to pose any threat before he was shot and killed, according to records released Tuesday.

Officer Amy Detweiler also told police investigators that Hill, a Black man, didn’t say anything as he approached officers from a garage and that she didn’t see a weapon, records from the Columbus Division of Police show.

According to Detweiler, her then-partner, Adam Coy, yelled, “There’s a gun in his other hand, there’s a gun in his other hand,” before firing. Hill was unarmed, investigators said.

The interview sheds some new light on what led up to the fatal incident on Dec. 22. Coy didn’t activate his body camera until just after the shooting. But the camera’s “look back” technology enables it to record 60 seconds of silent video before being turned on. Detweiler’s account reveals at least some of the interaction with Hill during that minute.

Hill was shot after officers were dispatched to a “non-emergency” disturbance call from a neighbor who allegedly saw a man sitting in an SUV for an extended period of time turning his car on and off, according to the Columbus Department of Public Safety.

Detweiler told investigators she treated the incident as a “suspicious person run,” and that both she and Coy had their guns drawn when Hill was inside the darkened garage. Hill was not attempting to enter the home, she told investigators, and “she was concerned why Mr. Hill was inside the garage.”

Coy asked Hill to leave the garage, and Hill compiled, Detweiler told investigators.

“Officer Detweiler stated Mr. Hill was walking towards her with a cell phone raised in his left hand,” according to the investigation records. “Officer Detweiler stated she did not observe any threats from Mr. Hill.”

When Hill reached the rear bumper of the car inside the garage, he turned towards Coy and brought down his left hand, according to Detweiler, who told investigators she could not see Hill’s right side.

“Officer Detweiler stated she did not see a weapon,” the investigation report stated.

But then, Coy yelled, “There’s a gun in his other hand,” and Detweiler “heard gunfire at this moment,” the report said.

In footage from the body-worn camera’s “look back” function, Hill is seen coming out of a garage with a cellphone in his left hand and his right hand obscured before Coy opens fire.

Hill, 47, died from multiple gunshot wounds, the Franklin County Coroner said Monday.

Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. terminated Coy on Monday, writing in his ruling that “known facts do not establish that this use of deadly force was objectively reasonable.”

Pettus said Coy didn’t try to deescalate the situation before shooting Hill. After the shooting, Coy didn’t render aid or ensure that others did, according to Pettus.

Coy, a 19-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police, was not interviewed as part of the Columbus Division of Police’s administrative investigation “to preserve the integrity of an ongoing criminal investigation,” according to the records. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is currently conducting an investigation.

Coy did not appear at a disciplinary hearing that preceded his termination. His criminal defense attorney told ABC News Monday that Coy does not have any comment at this time. Coy has not publicly commented on the incident.

Detweiler was sworn in as a Columbus police officer in December 2011, according to employment records. It is unclear from the records how long she had been Coy’s partner.

ABC News’ Emily Shapiro and Douglas Lantz contributed to this report.

Source:

abcnews.go.com

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