Video Shows Officers Fatally Shooting Man While Responding To Wrong Address
Police have released disturbing body-camera footage showing officers fatally shooting a New Mexico man after they went to his house by mistake earlier this month while responding to a domestic violence call.
The videos released Friday by the Farmington Police Department shows all three officers opening fire upon 52-year-old Robert Dotson after authorities said he answered his door with a handgun at 11:30 p.m. on April 5.
The officers had repeatedly announced themselves at the door and had knocked three times without a response. While waiting, they asked dispatch to confirm the address, the videos show.
“Is this not 5308?” one officer asks. They were at 5305.
Less than a minute later the door opens and an officer shines a flashlight on Dotson while stepping back. Slow motion video of the incident then shows Dotson appear to raise a handgun towards the officers. The officer hollers at him to put his hands down while firing multiple rounds.
A woman is next heard screaming as she comes to the door and fires a gun at the officers, prompting officers to return fire. She was not injured and complied with the officers’ commands once she realized they were police, authorities said.
A 911 call recording also released by police captures Dotson’s 14-year-old daughter crying while pleading for help after her father was shot.
Why the officers went to the wrong address remains part of the ongoing investigation, which is being led by New Mexico State Police, authorities said.
“All of us ― the men and women of the Farmington Police Department ― recognize the severity of this incident,” the Farmington Police Department said in a statement with the videos’ release. “We will do everything we can to ensure a fuller understanding of what took place. I believe that the footage will help to provide a greater understanding of what transpired.”
All three officers, who have not been publicly identified, have been placed on administrative leave. Two of the officers have been with the department for approximately five years and the third for approximately three years, police said.
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