WRAL TV on Wednesday aired bodycam footage of the March 27 shooting of a Goldsboro Avenue man by Sanford Police after a judge ordered the video to be released to the network.
Officers shot and killed Juan Carlos Romero in late March after responding to an incident at his home in which he shot his 19-year-old daughter, by whom the Rant later learned he had been accused of abuse at least once before. The daughter’s injuries were not fatal.
In a segment on Wednesday night, WRAL reporter Sarah Krueger said the network watched the video with both Romero’s family as well as with Sanford Police. She described the case as “an example where two sides see the video and see two completely different things,” noting that Romero’s family has said not only that they don’t believe he fired at the officers, but that he didn’t have a gun in his hand, while police point to a frame in the video that they say shows the flash of a gunshot.
WRAL also provided the raw footage of the shooting, which is graphic, but can be viewed here.
While Romero’s right hand is almost entirely out of frame from two of the officers’ angles and blocked from vision in a third, someone on the video can be heard saying “he has a silver little gun,” and officers can heard repeatedly ordering Romero to put it down. Just before shooting begins, Romero’s right hand briefly comes into frame, and while the footage is grainy, he does appear to be holding something and possibly be in the process of raising it toward the officers. After he is shot, the officers can be heard discussing the location of the gun, and one of them can be seen approaching Romero and kicking something out of his hand (although footage at this point from this officer’s perspective was apparently not provided, likely because it would have shown Romero after being shot).
In short, the video may be inconclusive but provides strong evidence that Romero did possess a gun at the time of the shooting, and may have fired it, as officers said.
The three officers remain on administrative leave while the State Bureau of Investigation reviews the incident, which is standard practice in all officer-involved shootings.