LOS ANGELES — Police body camera footage released Thursday shows a bleeding and crying 17-year-old girl apologizing to the officer who shot her after the teen ran at him with a large knife in Southern California.
Oxnard Police Chief Scott Whitney described the May 3 confrontation in an edited video package posted online by his department.
An officer responding to reports of a girl causing a disturbance found her behind a fast food restaurant with a 12-inch (31-centimeter) kitchen knife in her pocket, Whitney says.
Officer Timothy Roberts' camera records him warning the girl not to reach for the weapon.
"Why, what happens if I reach for it?" asks the girl, who's wearing a red shirt, blue shorts and sneakers.
"Then something bad is going to happen," Roberts says.
The camera shows him backing away from the teen in a parking lot while ordering her to drop the knife. The girl ignores his commands and keeps walking toward him.
When she suddenly begins running at Roberts with the knife in her right hand, he shoots her multiple times and she collapses.
Two officers are then shown providing medical aid to the girl as they wait for an ambulance.
"I'm so sorry," the teen says while writhing on the pavement.
"It's OK," an officer responds.
The teen remains hospitalized Thursday in critical but stable condition, officials said.
Her face is obscured in the video because of her age.
The shooting is still under investigation, Whitney said.
The second officer arrived moments before the shooting and was preparing to use a beanbag weapon to try to subdue the girl, according to a police statement.
Roberts was placed on administrative leave after the shooting, in accordance with police policy. He has worked for the Oxnard Police Department since 2015 and was assigned to the patrol division in the city of 200,000 people about 60 miles (97 kilometers) west of Los Angeles.
Critical Incident Community Briefing- (OIS 5/3/2019)
WARNING: This video contains graphic content and viewer discretion is advised. The purpose of this news release is to provide the public with updated information concerning the May 3, 2019 officer-involved shooting that occurred on the 400 block of North Rose Avenue. The purpose of this news release is to provide the public with updated information concerning the May 3, 2019 officer-involved shooting that occurred on the 400 block of North Rose Avenue. Officer Timothy Roberts was the one officer that fired his handgun in this incident. A second officer had arrived on scene and was retrieving what is commonly referred to as a “beanbag” firing shotgun from the back of his patrol vehicle as the shooting occurred. This “less lethal” shotgun is intended to serve as an option in situations such as this. The second officer did not discharge his firearm or the shotgun. The Oxnard Police Department is also releasing Officer Roberts’ body worn camera video, which captured the incident. Portions of the video footage have been blurred to protect the juvenile’s privacy. Overview of Incident During the morning hours of Friday, May 3, 2019, the Oxnard Police Department’s dispatch center received multiple calls from a female reporting a woman with a knife in the area of 1835 San Gorgonio, and then behind the Carl’s Jr. on the 400 block of North Rose Avenue. The female was described as being 18 years in age, wearing a red shirt and blue shorts. During the first call to the dispatch center, it was reported that she “seems disturbed” and that she was walking around and waving a knife. The caller also indicated that the female was possibly armed with a gun. The caller recontacted dispatch three (3) additional times, and during these calls stated that the female was “getting increasingly worse” and that she was screaming and threatening people. Oxnard Police Officer Timothy Roberts arrived on scene first, and made verbal contact with a female in the dirt field behind the business. The female approached, and then brandished a large kitchen knife (pictured below) at the officer. The officer drew his handgun and made several verbal requests for her to drop the weapon. The female ignored and expressly refused the officer’s requests, and began to advance on him. The officer retreated in an attempt to create space between them. The officer continued to give the female verbal commands to drop the weapon as he retreated backwards through the parking lot. As the second officer arrived on scene and was retrieving a “beanbag” shotgun, the female ran directly towards Officer Roberts with the knife in her hand. Officer Roberts fired his weapon, and the female was struck by gunfire. Officers promptly rendered first aid to her until medical personnel arrived on scene. The video contains graphic content and viewer discretion is advised. The female’s face has been blurred because of her age. Audio that identifies her by name has also been redacted. During the incident, the female brandished a large kitchen knife. A picture of the actual knife is shown below: During the investigation, detectives determined that the multiple calls made into the Oxnard Police Department’s dispatch center came from the phone that was in the female’s possession. Detectives have also discovered evidence that supports the position that the female deliberately intended to be shot by an officer. At the time of this news release the female is in an area hospital in “critical but stable” condition. A criminal investigation is continuing. The public may view the video by clicking on the following link: Officer Roberts has been employed by the Oxnard Police Department since 2015, and is currently assigned to the Department’s Patrol Division. At the time of this update, he is on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings. The Oxnard Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit is investigating the incident. Detectives are requesting that anyone who might have witnessed the incident, or has additional information to contact Detective Jeff Kay at (805) 385-8174 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Detectives are also encouraging anyone who video recorded or photographed all or part of the incident to upload media directly to detectives via the following link: https://oxnardpd.evidence.com/axon/citizen/public/480northrose The link to the press release is: https://www.oxnardpd.org/31061-2/
Posted by Oxnard Police Department on Thursday, May 9, 2019