PHOENIX — Body cam video released Wednesday by Phoenix PD shows the shooting death of 40-year-old Ryan Whitaker in May after police responded to his apartment.
Whitaker was shot and killed after Phoenix police said they got calls related to a domestic dispute at his Ahwatukee apartment on May 21.
Police released two partial 911 calls from someone who first reported the dispute, then 30 minutes later said it had gotten physical. That's when police upgraded it to an emergency response.
Two officers arrived at the apartment at about 10:52 p.m. and knocked on the door and announced themselves, new body camera video shows.
Whitaker then comes out of the apartment and police say Whitaker was armed and moved quickly toward one of the officers. That’s when an officer shot and killed Whitaker.
"Believing the other officer is in immediate danger, the second officer fired his weapon, striking Whitaker," Phoenix PD said in a briefing. "Whitaker did not fire his weapon, which was recovered in the doorway."
This video below shows the shooting of Whitaker from both officers' body cam videos, released by Phoenix PD. The content of the video may be upsetting to some viewers.
Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio released a statement Wednesday saying the way the 911 call was reported to officers and the actions of the shooting officer were both concerning to him.
DiCiccio's full statement is below:
"First, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the Whitaker family. I have had serious questions about this incident from the beginning, and have pushed Phoenix Police to release this information as soon as possible. Based on the horrific events we witnessed in the Critical Incident Briefing video, I will continue to insist on a thorough and comprehensive investigation of this case. I have serious concerns about the nature of the 911 call and how that information was relayed to our officers, as well as the actions of the shooting officer. Again, I want to extend my sincere regrets to the Whitaker family, and thank them for their patience throughout this long and terrible process."
Whitaker's family members have disputed the events as depicted by police.
His sister, Katie Baeza, told 12 News in the past that she does not believe her brother would have done what police described.
“He would never even pull the trigger, so much less take a gun to the door if he knew police were on the other side,” Baeza said last month.
“I believe the officer reacted out of fear.”
Baeza said she wants transparency from the department amidst the protests and calls for reform in law enforcement.
“You shouldn’t react out of fear,” Baeza said.
“I understand you fear for your life and your job puts you in that position every day. But if you know you’re answering the call for a potentially violent suspect could be answering the door, you need to be better prepared for that.”
Baeza said the funding and creation of the first-ever civilian police review board for Phoenix Police is a step towards change and believes better training for officers is needed.
This video below was produced by the Phoenix Police Department and shows the shooting at 4:19 in the video. The content of the video may be upsetting to some viewers.