RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – New video from a CBS 17 viewer shows the moments right before Raleigh police shot and killed a man Saturday outside of the Southeast substation on Rock Quarry Road.
“This police car, he was bookin’ it. He was racing,” recalled Irene Schmid.
Schmid was on her way to grab a smoothie Saturday afternoon when she saw the commotion and pulled out her cellphone.
She captured a Raleigh police patrol SUV on fire and a gray SUV also burning.
“I saw fire coming from them,” added Schmid.
Upon zooming into the video, CBS 17 screws spotted three balls of fire that appear to be hurled toward officers standing by.
Following the shooting, Chief Estella Patterson said a man, who has not been publicly identified, lit two cars on fire in the parking lot of the substation and threw Molotov cocktails at officers.
She said that’s when four officers fired their guns, killing the suspect, Patterson said.
In Schmid’s video, a series of gunshots are heard in the background.
She ducked down and drove off.
“I was shaking. I pulled over. I was trembling,” added Schmid.
Her video may be one of the only ones people are able to view, while Patterson petitions a judge to release body camera video footage from that day.
“North Carolina law does not make this body camera footage public record,” said UNC-Chapel Hill Law Professor Rick Su. “A judge has to authorize the release of that footage. No one else can make that decision.”
He said North Carolina is the only state to have an extensive process.
“The original intent was to take the politics out of releasing particular footage,” explained Su.
When the law changed in 2016, the original idea was that a judge should be the neutral party making the decision.
“In some ways, it takes the community and public out of it,” said Su.
He explained there’s no easy answer.
“A judge has to consider whether or not releasing the video would hurt the reputation of an individual, whether or not it would impede the investigation,” added Su. “There’s actually a lot of grounds for a judge to deny the release.”
CBS17 asked Raleigh police when the petition to release the footage would occur.
A representative said she did not know the timeline.
The five-day investigative report is expected to be released on Friday, May 13. There’s no word on if it will include the video.