Indiana cops shot and killed a man with a knife, claiming he was “advancing” towards them, making them fear for their lives.
But a body cam video shows the man holding holding his hands up, then taking two steps forward and stopping about 30 feet away from the officers, who were positioned behind their cars.
Daniel Wooters then pointed at them, possibly with the knife in his hand but it’s difficult to tell in the video.
And that was when three Evansville police officers fired 11 shots at the man.
They then handcuffed his lifeless body. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Wooters, 38, had angered the cops by stealing a patrol car and leading police on a one-mile chase that ended when damage to the car’s front axle caused it to spin around.
The video from one officer shows Wooters stepping out of the car and raising his hands, then taking two steps forward before he is gunned down.
He did not appear to want to advance from his standing position, but police viewed it differently.
The incident took place on March 15, 2016, but the body cam footage was only released today.
According to the Evansville Courier & Press:
Daniel Wooters, 38, was shot and killed by three Evansville Police officers in March after he stole a police cruiser, led them on a chase, crashed the car and then “advanced” toward officers with a knife.
The body camera footage of Officer Jonathan Helm shows that Wooters gets out of the cruiser while holding a knife. He then begins walking toward officers.
Police Sgt. Jason Cullum said officers told Wooters to drop the knife. He didn’t.
“With the totality of the circumstances, he just carjacked a marked police car at knifepoint,” Cullum said. “We do try to do things to de-escalate the situation. … This is not a situation where we walked up to a guy holding a knife.”
Cullum said nothing in the video shows that Wooters was following officers’ commands.
The incident began when police were called about a man at a shopping mall who “threatened to kill people.”
A cop arrived and “Wooters advanced at the officer with a knife and stole the officer’s car, leading other arriving officers on a chase,” according to the Evansville Courier & Press.