Woman live-streams police shooting aftermath

Minn. cop shoots, kills man during traffic stop

(WCCO via CNN)


Police in Minnesota shot and killed a man Wednesday night during a traffic stop for a broken tail light.

Authorities say Philando Castile, 32, was shot by St. Anthony officers who were patrolling in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights.

In the car with Castile were a young girl and an adult woman, who live-streamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.

WARNING: the video contains graphic images and language. To see the Facebook video on YouTube, click here. 

To read a transcript of the Facebook video, click here.

Crowds continued to gather the scene, at the governor's mansion in nearby St. Paul and at the hospital where Castile was pronounced dead. Protesters have covered the entrance to the governor's mansion with crime scene tape.

No one besides Castile was injured, said Sgt. Jon Mangseth, the interim chief of the St. Anthony Police Department.

The woman in the car, identified by family as Diamond Reynolds, said police asked Castile for his license and insurance. When he was reaching for his wallet, he told officers he had a firearm in his possession and a conceal-and-carry permit. Reynolds said in the video an officer shot Castile four times.

Mangseth told reporters he was aware of the Facebook video, but not of its content.

Valerie Castile told WCCO her son was a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul. He would have been 33 years old Friday.

'A busted tail light'

Diamond's video has since been taken down from Facebook.

"Stay with me," are the first words heard in her video. "We got pulled over for a busted tail light in the back."

The camera shows the woman speaking, then turns to a man in a white shirt, covered in blood. Out the window appears to be a police officer with his gun drawn.

The footage was streamed on a Facebook account under the name Lavish Reynolds. WCCO spoke to Castile's family who identified the woman as Diamond Reynolds.

In the video's first minute, Reynolds says Castile is licensed to carry a firearm. She claims that before the shooting, her boyfriend was trying to get his ID from his wallet in his back pocket.

'This happens so often'

Clarence Castile, Philando Castile's uncle, told CNN the family is devastated.

"We all know my nephew was a good kid and we want justice as well as relief," he said.

Castile said that Philando worked as a kitchen supervisor. The last time the two of them spoke was in May. They talked about setting up a nest egg for Philando's eventual retirement.

"My nephew has a (concealed carry) permit, and still got killed for carrying a gun ... this needs to stop. This happens so often," he said.

An ongoing investigation

Mangseth said there were two officers present when the incident occurred -- a primary officer responded, who he believes has more than five years of experience, and there was also a backup officer. Having both is standard procedure.

One officer has been placed on standard paid administrative leave, Mangseth said at a short news conference early Thursday morning.

No police were injured.

The St. Anthony Police Department doesn't have body cameras, the department's office manager said.

Mangseth said he hasn't seen the video, but he knows about it and that it was live-streamed on Facebook.

The nearly 10-minute video garnered more than 1 million views before it was pulled from Facebook.

It was then re-released on the social media platform with a graphic warning.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Assistance, a state-wide criminal investigative agency, was called and is investigating the incident, Mangseth said.

"We will release the information as we learn it, and we will address concerns as we are faced with them," he said.

Mangseth told reporters that it's the first officer-involved shooting in the area in more than 30 years.

"It's shocking," he said. "It's not something that occurs in this area often."

The shooting comes just one day after an officer-involved shooting was filmed by bystanders in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

37-year-old Alton Sterling died, sparking mourning and outrage across the country.

'I'm right here'

The camera shows the woman speaking, then turns to a man in a white shirt, covered in blood. Out the window appears to be a police officer with his gun drawn.

The video appears to be shot with the phone's front-facing camera, so the perspective is flipped, as letters would be in a mirror. Because of this, the steering wheel appears to be on the wrong side of the car.

"Please don't tell me this lord, please, Jesus don't tell me that he's gone," Reynolds pleads.

"Please don't tell me that he's gone. Please officer don't tell me that you just did this to him."

She's then asked to step outside with her hands up. While being ordered to walk backwards toward police, she points the camera at them.

The phone is then thrown on the ground nearby. The camera faces up, and it keeps recording.

Reynolds begins to cry and lose her composure. She's heard wailing and pleading with officers. Police can also be heard in the background.

The camera keeps pointing up at the sky before it goes black while the voices continue.

Reynolds eventually gets hold of the phone again and says she begins filming from the back seat of a police car with the little girl.

She seems calm again, alerting viewers to her location and asking someone to come pick her up.

"I can't believe they just did this," she says.

Then she screams.

"It's OK," the little girl says. "I'm right here with you."