After police shot at a couple in New Haven, Connecticut, different accounts have emerged from the cops involved and those who witnessed the incident.
Yale University Police Officer Terrance Pollock and Hamden Officer Devin Eaton responded to reports of an attempted armed robbery taking place Tuesday, April 16. News 8 reported that Pollock was grazed by a bullet when he and Eaton fired from opposite sides of the car. It was not clear if the injury came from Eaton or his own ricocheted bullet; he was later treated and released.
The red Honda that was fired into was occupied by 22-year-old Stephanie Washington and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Paul Witherspoon III, who was driving. Cops said Washington made a sudden movement, but that was not supported by surveillance footage.
Afterward he spoke to News 8 about what happened.
“I thought I was already dead because he pointed [a gun] right at me,” Witherspoon said. “My girlfriend was just yelling like, ‘They shot me! They shot me! They shot!'”
Washington was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital for treatment, where WFSB reported she continues to recover from surgery for bullet wounds and is expected to survive. Witherspoon was not injured. He was taken into custody for questioning and later released without charges.
A news release from Yale University says Pollock, a 16-year veteran of the department, had shown up that early morning to assist the Hamden officer following a report that a person driving a car had a gun.
Police ultimately confirmed no weapon was in the vehicle.
Surveillance footage shows Eaton approaching the vehicle from the right rear side of the car and fire into it. Pollock fired several shots from the front. Despite police’s claims about Witherspoons response to commands, witnesses say something different.
The public has been protesting amid eyewitness reports to the contrary of what police say led to the shooting.
“The police screamed ‘get out of the car get out of the car’ and the officer was shooting before anyone even said get out of the car,” said Chris Moore to Fox 61, noting he doesn’t trust local authorities. “Police are too trigger-happy. It doesn’t make me feel safe whatsoever.”
“Good thing he didn’t kill her,” New Haven resident Linda Campbell said to the station. “He just started shooting like a crazy person.”
Both Pollack and Eaton are on administrative leave pending an investigation from the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Connecticut State Police.