RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Raleigh police officer who shot and killed a man who had a BB gun back in January will not be charged.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman determined the shooting was justified.
It started in front of the Big Lots off Glenwood Avenue when someone called 911 to report a man with a gun. Senior Officer W.B. Tapscott responded. A chase and confrontation followed, then the shooting. Keith Collins, 52, was killed.
“In this particular case we were able to corroborate what Officer Tapscott really has said from the beginning,” Freeman said.
She said body camera and dash-camera video showed Collins turn and point what appears to be a gun in Officer Tapscott’s direction. Tapscott fired, Collins fell. The video then shows Collins trying to get back up and again pointing an object in the direction of the officer. Tapscott fired again. Video then shows the officer take cover behind a telephone pole. Collins then started to move again, Tapscott fired yet again.
Finally the video shows a black pistol at Collins’ feet. We later learned it was a BB gun.
Collins’ family asked that the video not be released. Journalists and community advocates were allowed to view it. Diana Powell was among them.
“I’m not surprised,” Powell said.
Powell is the Executive Director of Justice Served NC. According to the report, Tapscott fired 11 shots total, six of them hit Collins.
“It could have been excessive use of force. I think it was just overkill, at least some disciplinary, you know something, something to hold him accountable,” Powell said.
Collins’ family said he was mentally and physically disabled.
In a statement, they wrote, “none of the eleven shots fired at Keith would have occurred had the officer followed proper procedure and protocol and taken steps to de-escalate this tragic situation.”
“An officer cannot be held criminally responsible when they have used force that is justified,” Freeman said.
The family has scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. Friday. CBS 17 will be there and will provide updates.
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