PHOENIX — A disturbing scene caught on camera appears to show the moments before a Phoenix Police officer shoots a man.
The incident happened Sunday night in Phoenix, near Union Hills Drive and 43rd Avenue. Phoenix Police have not responded to any questions about the video, which was shared on social media by Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, but it matches what they say happened before the officer pulled her trigger.
In the video, you can see the officer back up around her SUV as a man holding a knife moves toward her, yelling threats.
Phoenix Police say the officer was called to the scene after reports that a man with a knife started threatening people inside a store. Staff confirms it was Asiana Market.
The officer confronted the man when he moved out to the parking lot with his knife. Police say she ordered him to drop it several times, which you can hear in the video. Phoenix Police say the officer fired after the suspect lunged at her with the knife.
No one else was hurt, and the suspect, a 55-year-old man who hasn’t been named, was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
"He was threatening to kill her," says Andy Anderson, retired Assistant Police Chief for the City of Phoenix. "He was a danger to everyone else in that parking lot."
Anderson says he thinks the officer did everything right, given the circumstances.
"It’s a good example of the kind of things officers have to deal with across this nation," he explains. "She worked very hard to try and not shoot that individual, did the best she could, try to create space."
It’s that training for these sorts of situations that is now under the microscope as protesters nationwide call for police reform. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Phoenix Chief Jeri Williams banned officers from using chokeholds as a form of restraint.
Anderson says training is ever-changing.
"The purpose is not to kill somebody," he says. "It’s to stop them."
And in the parking lot that Sunday, he doesn’t think the officer could have done anything differently. Police say she’s been on the job for a year.
"She was there alone. Had other officers been there? Then yes, they might have been some other options."
Phoenix Police say they’ll give more information on that suspect once he’s booked in jail.
Asiana Market also captured more video of the incident on their security cameras. The staff there tells 12 News they handed all their footage over to Phoenix Police.
The video below is 12 News coverage of the original incident.