PINEVILLE, N.C. — Newly released body camera video shows what happened when Pineville police shot a man who was reportedly waving a gun. The Pineville Police Department on Monday spoke to Channel 9 about the events that unfolded on Feb. 1, 2020, when officers shot Timothy Caraway.
The day after police released the video, Caraway spoke with Channel 9 reporter Tina Terry about what happened that day.
“I was in shock, because I just didn’t know what was going on,” Caraway said.
Before Monday afternoon’s news briefing, Channel 9 was the first to get access to police body camera video from that shooting.
In an effort to be transparent, Pineville police walked us through that video and explained what prompted them to fire at Caraway more than a year ago.
Pineville police said someone called 911 saying a man was waving a gun in the middle of the day in a busy area off North Polk Street.
“Should be holding a handgun, black in color,” dispatchers can be heard telling responding officers rushing to the scene.
When officers arrived, they spot Caraway, 24, on the sidewalk.
About 20 seconds after exiting his patrol car, you can hear one officer and several others making loud commands -- then officers fire multiple gunshots. Five of them hit Caraway, including one in the neck.
“He reaches into his pocket, pulls out a gun,” said Pineville Police Chief Michael Hudgins. “At this time, officers perceived this as an imminent threat.”
“Stop, stop! Get on the (expletive) ground. Put your hands up,” one officer can be heard saying in the footage.
“I can’t. I can’t, officer. I can’t, officer. I can’t,” Caraway screams while lying on the sidewalk in pain.
(WATCH BELOW: Pineville Police bodycam footage from February 2020 officer-involved shooting -- viewer discretion advised)
Officers said the gun Caraway was carrying was found on the ground nearby and in the footage, he can be heard apologizing to officers and asking why they shot him.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I was just doing what I was told to do,” Caraway said in the footage as officers tend to him. “Ya’ll said, ‘Drop it.’ I’m sorry.”
In the recordings, you can also hear Caraway admit he had the gun out because a girl was following him.
“This girl keeps following me,” Caraway said. “I asked her to stop. This girl keeps following me. I just asked her to stop. That’s it, man.”
He survived the shooting and a year later the district attorney dropped the charges against him.
“What you see is the officers firing multiple gunshots at my client,” said Michael Littlejohn, Caraway’s attorney. “Again, a client who posed no immediate threat to officers and gunshots that missed him by millimeters of costing his life.”
Channel 9 asked Mecklenburg County’s district attorney why he dropped the charges against Caraway. That office said Caraway has unrelated pending charges that prevent them from talking about this case.
“It’s a day by day thing,” Caraway said. “It hurts every day. Sometimes it hurts less. Sometimes it hurts more.”
Caraway’s attorney sent Channel 9 the following statement Monday:
“Mr. Caraway was walking down Polk Street in Pineville on a public sidewalk with both hands in his pockets when he was approached from behind by four Pineville police officers. Three of these officers, as visible on body cam, were wielding assault rifles. The officers, approximately twenty feet away from Caraway, yelled, “let me see your hands.” At the same time, a different officer yelled, “put your hands up!” A third officer then yelled, “drop the gun.”
“Mr. Caraway turned around, complied with the officer’s commands. He took his gun out of his pocket and dropped it on the ground. As he did this, he was shot immediately by officer Adam Roberts. Mr. Carraway then fell face down on the ground. Officer Jamon Griffin then fired his service weapon at Mr. Caraway approximately 9 times. Officer Griffin continued to fire while Mr. Caraway was on the ground, attempting to cover his face with his arm. As Griffin is repeatedly firing his weapon, multiple other Pineville police officers yell “stop.”
“The Constitution says everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law -- even at the hands of law enforcement. Tragically, thousands have died at law enforcement hands over the years, and the death toll continues to rise. Countless more have suffered from other forms of abuse and misconduct by police. We are fortunate that this is not the case for Mr. Caraway.
“Mr. Caraway -- a victim of excessive force -- is trying his best to cope with the incident and continues to receive treatment for the injuries he sustained. As such, counsel for Mr. Caraway is prepared to make a statement about the incident tomorrow.”
Cox Media Group