The second officer who was at the scene when Adam Coy fatally shot Andre Hill in Columbus, Ohio, last week did not perceive any threat or see a gun, according to records released Tuesday.
Hill, 47, was holding a cellphone in one hand when he was fatally shot by Coy on Dec. 22 as he exited a garage. Coy and another officer, identified as Amy Detwiler, were responding to a neighbor’s non-emergency call about someone turning a vehicle on and off repeatedly and playing music. Both officers approached the scene with guns drawn, and Coy shot Hill within 10 seconds of approaching the garage.
Neither officer turned on their body-worn cameras until after shots were fired, but the devices’ lookback feature captured the shooting without audio.
The new records provide additional information about the moments leading up to the shooting. According to a summary of Detwiler’s internal affairs interview released Tuesday, she arrived at the scene after Coy, to see Hill walk away from a vehicle. She did not see Hill and Coy interact but said Coy told her Hill had walked into a garage next door.
The officers then walked to the garage where Coy said he had seen Hill enter. Detwiler told investigators “she felt Mr. Hill may need assistance to enter the residence.” Mayor Andrew Ginther has confirmed that Hill was an “expected guest” at the home.
Detwiler said that when Coy asked Hill to exit the garage, he complied, but did not verbally respond.
Detwiler told investigators in the internal affairs interview that she did not perceive a threat or see any gun.
“Officer Detwiler stated Officer Coy observed a firearm and yelled, ‘There’s a gun in his other hand, there’s a gun in his other hand!’” the report said. “Officer Detwiler heard gunfire at this moment.”
There was no gun found at the scene.
Coy, a 17-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police, was fired Monday because he violated the use-of force policy, failed to turn on his body camera, and did not provide medical aid to Hill, Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. said in a statement. Hill was handcuffed while he was on the ground and did not receive medical attention for five minutes after he was shot.
Chief Thomas Quinlan had previously recommended that Coy be fired. Quinlan said he was suspicious about the shooting from the time he arrived on the scene and viewed the officers’ body camera footage.
“I have responded to many officer-involved shooting scenes and spoken with many officers following these critical incidents,” Quinlan wrote in a Dec. 26 report. “There was something very distinct about the officers engagement following this critical incident that is difficult to describe for this letter.”
Noting that Coy is not new to policing, Quinlan called the former officer’s actions “reckless and deliberate,” in his recommendation that he be fired.
Quinlan voiced concerns about Coy in 2008, and wrote in a letter at the time that a decision might have to be made regarding whether or not the officer was “salvageable.”
Since 2002, Coy has racked up three dozen complaints against him, primarily concerning abusive language and use of force. The Associated Press reported that details about the allegations are not include in the summaries provided by the city.
Coy remains subject to an ongoing criminal investigation. Detwiler, who has received commendations for aiding sick and injured citizens, has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. Unlike Coy, no internal charges have been brought against her.