Videos Show Officers Who Fatally Shot Man Knocking on Wrong Door
An armed man is shot by police after opening the door to what officers believe to be the correct address for a domestic violence call.
Newly released video footage shows that as three police officers waiting outside a Farmington, N.M. home to respond to a domestic abuse call, asked if they knew the correct address. Moments later, an armed man opened the door to the house and was fatally shot.
A second home in the same street had called for assistance.
The Farmington Police Department released audio and video recordings of 911 calls on Friday. They show confusion between police officers, and a plea for help from the relative of the victim.
The video was captured by the body cameras of Farmington police officers on the day of shooting, April 5. The officers responded to a call for help in Farmington in rural New Mexico. They knocked at a door that was across the street.
The number 5305 can be seen on the exterior of the house in the video even though the officers were dispatched at 5308 Valley View Avenue.
An officer will ask the other people if they're at the right address after waiting for them to respond.
Is it 4308 or 5308?" Another officer asks on the police radio. The dispatcher says the correct address.
The officer then laughs and says: "Don't tell my I'm incorrect."
The door opens about two minutes after the first knock. In the intervening time, you can see that they knocked twice more.
The police shot a man, later identified as Robert Dotson (52), who opened the front door, and also a screen, armed with a gun. He appeared to point the handgun at an officer and then lift it. In a slow motion playback, the video was edited to show an outline around the handgun.
Steve Hebbe said that the names of the officers have not yet been released, and they will remain withheld "until disclosure does not compromise the integrity of the investigations".
On the video, just moments after Mr. Dotson was shot, you can hear a woman screaming, who later turned out to be his wife. After she has approached the front door, she fires at the officers. She stops when realizing they are police officers. She is shot at by the officers, but she does not suffer any injuries.
The video was captured from the body cameras worn by all three officers who were present at the incident. None of them was injured. New Mexico State Police investigates the shooting.
The Police Department has also released recordings of four 911 calls relating to the initial dispatch and the shooting that followed.
A call came from a person who identified themselves as a 14 year old inside the 5305 Valley View Avenue house where Mr. Dotson had been shot. She says that through tears her mother instructed her to dial 911 as her father had been shot.
She first believes that the shots were coming from the police in the neighborhood, but then realizes that it was her home that had been hit.
The caller confirms that someone has shot at his father. He adds, "I'm so afraid."
The caller claims to be in a bedroom with her dog and brother.
Can you pray with us, please? She asks the dispatcher.
Two other 911 calls released were from neighbors concerned by the gunshots that they heard.
The fourth recording is from the first domestic violence call that originated across the street where the officers eventually knocked. The police investigated the first domestic call, and found no other complications.
Chief Hebbe stated that the Farmington Police Department would release more records and files regarding this encounter once they had been reviewed by a legal advisor.
In a Facebook statement, he stated that 'all of us -- men and women from the Farmington Police Department -- acknowledge the severity of this event'. We will do all we can to make sure that the full story is told.