Police in Southern California released body camera footage on Thursday showing a “disturbing” encounter between a knife-wielding 17-year-old girl and the officer who shot her multiple times.
Before the shooting, a woman had called police around 7 a.m. on May 3 to report that a “disturbed” teenager was waving a knife near a Carl’s Jr. fast-food restaurant in Oxnard, California, police said in a news release. In a handful of calls to dispatchers, the witness said the girl might have a gun as well. The caller also said the teen’s behavior was getting “increasingly worse” as she yelled and threatened people, according to police.
Video police released of the shooting, which blurs out the girl’s face because she’s a minor, shows Officer Timothy Roberts arriving at the bare lot where the girl was walking.
“Why is someone calling saying you’re waving a knife around?” Roberts asks.
At that point, the girl reaches for the knife tucked below her shirt.
“Don’t reach for the knife,” Roberts says. “Sit right down on the curb.”
“Why, what happens if I reach for it?” she asks.
Roberts responds that “something bad is going to happen.”
The teenager reaches for the knife again and pulls it out as the officer backs up and again instructs her to put down the large kitchen knife. Roberts also requests backup over his radio.
“Come on, shoot me,” the girl says as she walks toward the officer. “I’ve been waiting all day.”
Roberts continues to back away and tells the girl to put down the knife, but she keeps coming toward him. By this point, the pair are in a parking lot dotted with cars.
That’s when the girl starts moving quickly toward Roberts and he fires three times, video shows. The girl falls to the ground. Roberts kicks the knife away as the girl pants on the pavement.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” the girl says.
“Hang tight for us,” an officer says to the girl, who is still on the ground.
He asks where the girl was hit, and she responds that she doesn’t know.
“I’m so sorry,” she says as officers begin administering first aid.
Paramedics soon arrive to treat the girl, video shows.
The girl is now in critical but stable condition, police said, and she remains in the hospital about a week after the incident.
Roberts is on paid administrative leave, which is standard after officer-involved shootings, the police department said. He’s been with the department since 2015.
“The purpose of the video is to share information with our community about what happened that morning,” Police Chief Scott Whitney said in a video released with the body camera footage, which he called “disturbing.”
Police said detectives have uncovered “evidence that supports the position that the female deliberately intended to be shot by an officer.”