Bodycam videos recorded by officers in the fatal police shooting of a man who possessed an air rifle in a stolen vehicle were released by the Torrance Police Department Wednesday.
On Dec. 9, officers responded to a 911 call from the owner of a stolen 2000 Honda Civic who spotted someone driving his vehicle.
Surveillance video shows the vehicle drive into a parking lot in the 1700 block of Carson Street at 7:54 p.m.
Three minutes later, two patrol vehicles enter the parking lot and the officers approach the vehicle.
The man driving the stolen vehicle was later identified as 22-year-old Christopher De’Andre Mitchell of Los Angeles.
Mitchell “was in a stolen car in a super market parking lot with an altered long gun between his legs when officers first approached him,” Torrance Police Department Police Chief Eve Irvine said.
The shooting occurred a short time later when Mitchell did not follow instructions and reached for the weapon, Irvine said.
Bodycam video from the officers showed Mitchell’s hand drop from the steering wheel at one point while he is talking to officers, but he quickly returns them to the wheel.
Mitchell is later ordered to get out of the car but does not immediately comply.
Public Information Officer Sgt. Ronald Harris said Mitchell again dropped his hands toward the weapon and that’s when officers opened fire.
This portion of the recording is darker and text on the video indicates the officer’s flashlight had been put away — so it is more difficult to see the location of Mitchell’s hands.
Mitchell, who was still talking after the shooting, had been struck by the gunfire and remained in the vehicle.
Since the weapon was also still in the car with Mitchell, police ordered an armored truck to help them safely get him out of the car, Public Information Officer Sgt. Ronald Harris said.
Mitchell was removed from the vehicle 37 minutes after the shooting and treated for his injuries but did not survive, Harris said.
Investigators determined Mitchell’s weapon to be a Crossman Phantom 1000 air rifle with an altered buttstock.
Mitchell, a documented gang member who went by the moniker “Cowboy,” had been convicted of several crimes dating back to 2014, the Police Department stated.
Among the crimes, Mitchell had been convicted three times for vehicle theft and once for possession of a fire arm.