Footage from a police body camera has just been released. It shows how a calm encounter between officer and suspect in a domestic violence case turned deadly for the rookie officer. There are nearly 14 minutes of coverage from the cam, but there is about 1:30 here which shows the suspect pulling his .22 Cal weapon out. The rest of the video, according to Flagstaff PD, states that shots are fired followed by 9 seconds of silence. Then the suspect takes his own life with the officer’s service weapon.
Stewart responded to a call over a domestic dispute over dirty dishes. Finding no one home, he returned an hour later, where he would be murdered in cold blood.
Officers responded to Stewart flipping his emergency button, but could not get radio contact. They arrived to find him mortally wounded. After less than a year of service, the officer died at the hospital from his wounds.
Stewart and the suspect, Robert Smith, are calmly chatting outside Smith’s Flagstaff home on December 27 for about 3 minutes. Smith kept his hands in his pockets most of the time. Just moments after the officer asked if he could check Smith for weapons, Smith pulled a .22-caliber revolver from his right pocket and fired six shots at Stewart, five of which hit the 24-year-old officer: four in the head and one in the lower back. Smith then killed himself with the officer’s weapon.
According to police reports, one of Smith’s roommates told police that Smith had been contemplating suicide.
The video tracks what police have said all along about the shooting and highlights one of the most common calls for service in Flagstaff. This tragic loss of a young life is saddening, but let us not have this young man die in vain. Let us see the importance of arming out officers with the technology that is so readily available to us. Almost everyone has a camera on their phone these days. Why shouldn’t officers have one on their bodies? It would stop frivolous lawsuits, end racism (both real and imagined) and help to curb poor behavior of suspects and officers alike.Thank you for serving and protecting us, Tyler. Rest in peace, Officer Stewart.
H/T : DailyMail
Written by Katie McGuire. Follow Katie on Twitter @GOPKatie