Click here for the lapel-cam video from the recent officer-involved shooting in Eloy, Arizona. [You may recall this incident from our post Self-Defense Tip: Don’t Go Looking for Trouble.] The question handing over the shooting: did Officer Richard Timmes identify himself to homeowner Victor Arenas before opening fire at 4:30 in the morning? The video is conclusive: he did not. However . . .
The video indicates that Arenas shot first. That said, here’s the sum total that was said before the gunfight . . .
Arenas: “What are you doing shining that (bleep) light on my (bleep) house (bleep).”
Timmes: “What are you doing? Put the (bleep) gun down.” (shots fired)
No question: Officer Timmes should have immediately ID’ed himself the instant Arenas opened his mouth. It seems the cop operated under the [usual[ assumption that the person he was confronting – in the dark at 4:30am – recognized his authority. That said, it’s not clear if there was any verbal exchange between the two men prior to this recording.
Also, if someone’s firing a gun at you, the time for conversation is over. It appears that Arenas opened fire without knowledge of an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm. A lesson for us all, really.