Valdosta Chief: Video shows shooting was justified - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta Chief: Video shows shooting was justified

The 1600 block of Fresno Street. (Source: WALB) The 1600 block of Fresno Street. (Source: WALB)
Police Chief Brian Childress (Source: WALB) Police Chief Brian Childress (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Today we get our first look at the in car camera footage from the officer involved shooting in Valdosta.  Cell phone video captures the chilling audio of Officer Alyssa Shirey pleading with a suspect to drop his weapon back in September.

Police Chief Brian Childress says this video shows the officer was justified in shooting. The officer's pleas failed and ended with her shooting Johnathan Lozano-Murillo.

"My officer had no choice. She had no choice but to protect her own self and the law allows for that," Childress.  "Anytime you have an officer shot it's going to shake your department, but this has been a terrible year for law enforcement and it's been a terrible year for law enforcement in this community."

In-car camera footage shows the moments before the shooting, when Officer Shirey arrived on scene. You see Lozano-Murillo on top of his child's mother. You then see Shirey jump into help.

Then you see her retreating, until Lozano-Murillo is pulled to the ground by a friend. "That's when he pulls out a knife, the offender does," said Chief Childress.

He walks directly toward Shirey. "What would you do if someone was coming at you with a knife?" asked Childress.

The in car camera video shows the officer running around the car.  Shirey shot Lozano-Murillo once. The cell phone video shows the man get up and lunge at the officer, among screams and gunshots.

Chief Childress says this second officer involved shooting is tragic, but the department will continue to do its job.

"We're going to continue to do what we've always done which is train, train, and teach our officers to communicate," said Childress.

Police say body camera footage was not available-- because the officer's camera was knocked off when she was tackled to the ground.

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