What to Know
- Hamden Officer Devin Eaton and Yale Officer Terrance Pollock opened fire on a vehicle while investigating a reported robbery on April 16.
- A passenger in that vehicle, 22-year-old Stephanie Washington, was injured in that shooting. No weapon was found on the victims.
- Newly obtained surveillance footage shows the altercation that led to the 911 call reporting an armed robbery.
New surveillance video may provide clues about what led up to a police shooting in New Haven involving Hamden and Yale officers.
It all started with the report of an armed robbery at a gas station in Hamden.
The manager of that gas station told NBC Connecticut off-camera that the surveillance video shows that his clerk had no choice but to call 911, but there was no gun seen in the video.
The uncle of the driver police shot at says it proves the clerk falsely reported a crime.
The surveillance shows an altercation that the manager of the gas station says prompted his clerk to call 911. The investigation led to an incident that ended with a Hamden and Yale police officer opening fire on an unarmed couple in a car.
"The first domino that fell was right here and we need to refocus on that first domino,” said Rodney Williams, whose nephew Paul Witherspoon was one of the victims of that shooting.
Williams said the video is proof that the clerk should never have called 911.
“We could look at it and his hands was doing this his hands was doing that but we need to understand there was a 911 that triggered something tragic in our community"
In the original 911 call, the gas station clerk reported an attempted robbery. But he later told investigators he never saw Witherspoon with a firearm, and Connecticut State Police found no evidence of a gun in the car where Witherspoon’s passenger Stephanie Washington was hit by police gunfire.
"That 911 and what happened that don't line up,” Williams said.
In the video, the delivery man walks up to the window. There’s no audio, so it’s not known what was said. Witherspoon follows the man back to his car, and is seen tapping the back of the white car as it drives off.
“That don't look like no robbery.” Williams said.
Later, the video shows Witherspoon extending his arm pointed at the gas station window. He’s also seen knocking on the window.
The video then shows him drive off before he returns and parks his car by the gas pump.
The manager said his clerk was concerned about Witherspoon harassing customers and that he called 911 after the red car returned.
Williams said the clerk should be charged with filing a false report. He also said he wants the business shut down.
The manager defended his clerk’s decision to call 911, thought that employee no longer works there.
The shooting has prompted protests calling for the firing of the officers involved. The investigation is ongoing.