On Wednesday, police in Wilmington, Delaware responded to a 911 call about a man in a wheelchairsuffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to initial reports. When the police arrived, one officer pulled his shotgun, pointed it at the man—who has been identified by family members as 28-year-old Jeremy McDole—and repeatedly told him to show his hands. The scene was recorded on a cell phone and uploaded to YouTube.
The police encounter escalated quickly as additional officers surrounded the man, yelling for him to raise his hands. They then opened fire on McDole, and he slumped out of his wheelchair and fell to the ground. McDole was pronounced dead at the scene. In a statement, authorities said that the man wasarmed with a handgun at the time of the shooting, which contradicts statements made by family members and witnesses. McDole was in a wheelchair because he was shot 10 years ago and was paralyzed from the waist down, according to Delaware Online.
Family Of Wheelchair-Bound Man Killed By Police Challenges Officers’ Narrative, Citing Witness Footage
…The cellphone video appears to show Wilmington officers confronting Jeremy McDole on the street, where he is sitting in his wheelchair. As they approached with guns drawn, they yelled at him to “drop the gun” and to put his “hands up.”
McDole, who appears to be bleeding, fidgets for a few seconds, rubbing his hands on his knees and thighs, and then tries to raise himself out of his wheelchair. The moment his hand touches his waistband, the four officers open fire, striking McDole.
After he is shot, McDole freezes for a second and then falls out of his wheelchair and is motionless on the ground. No weapon appears to be visible in the bystander’s video.
McDole’s uncle, Eugene Smith, called the shooting “an execution” and said that when he saw his nephew 15 minutes before the incident, he did not have a gun.
The police department made this public statement about the shooting incident:
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