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Norman police release statement about video showing officer-involved shooting

NORMAN, Okla. – Authorities are responding to cell phone video of an officer-involved shooting in Norman.

Around 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, police were called to the Presidential Garden Apartment complex to check on the welfare of a man.

After police arrived, they say the man lunged at them and was shot by officers.

“Officers arrived here, attempted to make contact with that individual. Attempted to negotiate with that individual, and that’s when he raised his firearm, pointing it at the officers that were on scene,” said Sarah Jensen, with the Norman Police Department.

“I heard on the intercom, ‘Get on your knees.’ I seen a guy on his knees at gunpoint,” Damon Garcia, a resident at the complex, told News 4. “Next thing I know, he was antagonizing the cops. Then I heard the assault rifles go off twice, watched the guy fall on the ground. Something was wrong with him; seemed like mental illness or he was high on something.”

Chris Powell and his mother, Sandra Powell Miller, shot video of the scene on a cell phone.

“He was just flailing his arm and they told him to get down on the ground, get down on your knees. He did get on his knees, he stayed there for like two minutes, then he jumped back up and kept walking up to the cops,” Sandra Powell Miller said. “Pop, pop, he went down and it looked like he got shot in the shoulder, but from the shot, he banged his head. Ten cops swarmed him.”

All of the witnesses said the officers tried to subdue the suspect with a sand bag gun before the real shots were fired but they couldn’t see if the suspect had a weapon.

“He acted like he went to grab for something, and I didn’t see if he had anything and that’s when the shooting occurred,” said Garcia.

The suspect was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Now, Norman police are speaking out about that cell phone video.

"The Norman Police Department has been made aware of a bystander video posted to social media depicting a small portion of yesterday's officer-involved shooting in the 2600 block of Van Buren Street. The video shows the incident from a significant distance and at an angle that makes it difficult for the full incident and subject's weapon to be seen. The incident in its entirety was also captured on the department's body-worn cameras. This video shows officers negotiating with the subject for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, along with officers pleading with the subject to surrender and not reach for his weapon. The video also shows the subject failing to comply with the officers commands, reaching into his waistband, and then pointing his weapon towards officers on scene. First aid was immediately rendered during which time the subject is heard apologizing to officers for his actions during the course of the incident. The incident remains under investigation. Body-worn camera footage of the incident will be released as soon as it is cleared by investigators," a statement from the police department read.