Another officer who responded with Coy said she couldn’t see Hill’s right side and didn’t see a weapon. According to the report, she heard Coy say he saw a gun and he yelled, “There’s a gun in his other hand, there’s a gun in his other hand!”
Notes from the interview of that other officer were made public Tuesday by police after CNN requested the documents.
Hill was not armed, and Coy’s body camera didn’t capture audio because he didn’t activate it until after the shooting. But a look-back feature captured 60 seconds of video with no audio prior to Coy turning on his camera. The video, which was released by the police department, shows Coy approaching Hill and the encounter leading up to the shooting.
Brian Steel, vice president of the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge, said Coy has 10 days from the date he’s fired to ask the organization to take his case to arbitration, and he hasn’t done that yet. It’s not automatic that the lodge would plead Coy’s case, either. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, Steel said.
Coy could also ask a court or the civil service commission to intervene, Steel said. CNN was unable to reach Coy for comment Tuesday. The other officer also gave an interview to criminal investigators from the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation at the scene, according to a report on the shooting prepared by police Chief Thomas Quinlan with help from internal affairs investigators.
The report noted that officers involved behaved differently than officers in other shootings he’s responded to.
“I have responded to many officer-involved shooting scenes and spoken with many officers following these critical incidents,” the report stated. “There was something very distinct about the officers’ engagement following this critical incident that is difficult to describe for this letter.”
The report, signed by Quinlan, noted concerns were raised with others after reviewing the video and observing the officers at the scene.
“Based on my direct observations of this encounter, I informed the director’s office and the Mayor’s office of what I was witnessing. I explained that I observed events with my own eyes and ears that in my experience raised many alarms as to the officer’s actions in using deadly force,” it reads.
An internal investigation into other officers at the scene is ongoing and it’s not clear whether any others will face discipline. A separate investigation by the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is ongoing, looking at whether criminal charges are appropriate.
Coy and the other officer had been dispatched on a disturbance call for someone “continuously restarting a gray SUV” and encountered Hill inside a garage. Both had their guns drawn and approached at an angle from opposite sides, according to her interview.
Coy asked Hill to exit the garage and Hill didn’t respond verbally but started walking out of the garage.
Hill’s left hand was holding a cellphone but his right hand was “concealed behind his leg.” Released records state Hill had reportedly dropped his left hand before Coy shot him but it’s not clear from Coy’s video that happened — and Columbus police haven’t released any other video.
“(The other officer) stated she did not see a weapon. (She) stated Officer Coy observed a firearm and yelled, ‘There’s a gun in his other hand, there’s a gun in his other hand!’ (She) heard gunfire at this moment,” according to notes from the interview with the other officer. “(She) had nothing further to add and the interview was concluded.”
The memo noted there wasn’t audio evidence of the encounter because Coy didn’t activate his camera. But once Coy’s camera was on and he had audio, the report noted Coy was “verbally aroused and issuing orders” while “Hill was lying on the ground with his back to officers and clearly in medical distress.”
“Officer Coy rolled Mr. Hill over and immediately reacted with deep distress using profanity as he realized Mr. Hill was unarmed,” the report states.
Officers at the scene didn’t perform first aid but did “immediately” ask for paramedics. Coy asked the other officer for a support officer, who would typically help an officer “through a critical event,” according to the documents.
“Officer Coy was heard on his (body-worn camera) becoming physically ill,” the report states. “Officers began securing the scene with crime scene tape and eventually handcuffed Mr. Hill. Medical aid was only first rendered several minutes later.”
The report notes that there was a “protracted delay” for paramedics to arrive and “no officers at the scene administered first aid or provided reassurance to Mr. Hill until several minutes later.”
Coy arrived on scene about 1:42 a.m. and Hill was shot minutes later, according to the timeline of events in Quinlan’s report, and Hill was pronounced dead at 2:25 a.m. at Riverside Hospital.