New tapes describe events during officer-involved shooting - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Newly released tapes describe what happened during officer-involved shooting

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

We now are getting a better picture about what happened on Oct. 5, 2010. That's when then-Phoenix police Officer Richard Chrisman shot and killed suspect Daniel Rodriguez during a domestic disturbance call.

CBS 5 obtained recording from days after the shooting as both officers were interviewed during the Phoenix Police Department's Internal Affairs investigation.

About halfway through his initial two-hour interview, Chrisman described why he felt that deadly force was justified.

"(Suspect Daniel Rodriguez) grabbed the bicycle and picked it up. Came at me just like that. Like that. And I had no choice. Pop. Pop. I fired," recalled Chrisman on the taped interviews.

However, in a separate internal affairs interview, Officer Sergio Virgillo, who acted as a back-up officer during the call, recalled a different situation.

"Was there anything Daniel was doing that you remembered that you observed that would have caused any, an officer to shoot Daniel?" asked Sgt. Julie Egea.

"No," responded Virgillo.

Virgillo also stated that things escalated quickly between Rodriguez and Chrisman.

"Officer Chrisman went hands on with him. Uh, I tried to grab the other, his, uh, Daniel's right arm and Officer Chrisman was grabbing his left arm and we were struggling," he explained.

There was even a point before the shooting when Virgillo saw something that shocked him.

"Chrisman pulled out his service weapon and put it to Daniel's head," said Virgillo.
"Was Daniel, um, threatening at that point?" asked Egea.
"No, I mean he was a police officer really and that's crazy stuff," responded Virgillo.
"Mmm-hmm," said Egea.
"It was crazy," said Virgillo.

When asked about that incident during his separate interview, Chrisman said pointing the gun at Rodriguez was simply a way to protect himself from the suspect's dogs.

"OK, so your intention was to scare the dog. When you put your gun to Daniel's head was your intention to commit an aggravated assault on Daniel?" asked Egea.

"Absolutely not ma'am. It was to gain compliance to control the situation," responded Chrisman.

Seconds later, Chrisman is accused of shooting one of Rodriguez's dogs to death before shooting the suspect twice in the chest.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). Allrights reserved.