Warning: This video contains gun violence. Viewer discretion is advised.
DENVER (KDVR) — Body camera video was released Friday in a Westminster officer’s deadly shooting of a woman during a traffic stop.
Police say the woman, who was in her SUV, was going for a gun when the officer opened fire and killed her. A bullet ended up in an innocent bystander’s windshield, as well.
The shooting happened on the afternoon of July 25 at West 88th Avenue and Lamar Drive. Police say the officer approached the vehicle because it was stopped in the wrong direction, according to a Friday release from police. Police identified the officer only as N. Adams.
The video shows the officer asking why she’s in the wrong lane and if she’s OK, but she does not respond. Then he notices a weapon inside.
“After several attempts to speak with the driver, she produced a handgun,” Westminster Police said in a statement. “Officer N. Adams attempted to grab the driver’s arm and then disengaged, drew his gun and fired at the driver, hitting her.
Police expert reviews shooting video
James Allbee is a former police officer and sheriff’s deputy. He now owns the law enforcement consultant group Metro Intelligence Agency.
He believes the officer’s actions were justified. He spoke with FOX31 about the moment the officer realized a gun was in the vehicle and stepped back at an angle.
“Based on his actions, that would be consistent with trying to gain some distance between imminent threat and himself,” Allbee said.
Officer put on paid leave after shooting
The officer was placed on paid administrative leave for the investigation, per department policy.
“We understand incidents of this nature deeply affect our citizens, family members and employees. We understand the concerns that arise after an officer-involved shooting. It is important to remember these situations are complex and often involve tough, split-second decisions made by our officers,” Westminster Police said in a statement.
Officials say the investigation will likely take several months to finish before it’s presented to the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office for review.