Englewood police released body camera video Monday of the Feb. 5 tussle between Officer Tim Corcoran and Shelly Porter that led Corcoran to fatally shoot Porter in the parking lot of the vacant Englewood Inn.
Footage shows Porter, 41, initially responding to commands to get on the ground, then after demanding to know why he was being detained he rose to his feet.
Since Porter was wanted in connection with gunfire damage to a nearby hotel room he stayed at the night before, “Officer Corcoran had every reason to believe Mr. porter was armed,” said Englewood Sgt. Mike Lang at a press conference Monday.
The video shows Corcoran shoot Porter with a taser as he starts to rise. Porter falls down and says “OK, sorry,” as Corcoran fires the taser a second time. But Porter continues thrashing and reportedly starts pulling out the taser prongs.
A physical scuffle ensued, causing the lapel camera to thrash so much it was unclear what was happening.
Lang highlighted still frames from the video purportedly showing Porter gaining control of the taser from Corcoran. Another frame showed the items that fell from Porter’s pocket as they wrestled: a handgun, a knife, a cell phone, loose ammunition and a cigarette lighter made to resemble a gun.
In a video interview with investigators also released Monday, Corcoran said he saw the weapons on the ground and put Porter into a headlock as he tried to push him away from them — in a “fight for his life,” Lang said — but Porter slipped out and Corcoran fell to his stomach.
At that point, Corcoran said he spent a moment frantically searching for his holster, which had re-positioned during the fight.
INTERACTIVE: When police fire: Officer-involved shootings
“And I can see him. He’s got the silver gun in his hand, He’s got it in his right hand, and he’s pointing it at the back of my head. And he tells me, “Now you don’t move.’”
“I got the gun out, and I rolled real quick and as soon as I pulled my own body, and I saw him above me pointing the gun at me, I fired two to three rounds. At that point, he kind of stumbled back a little and started to run off, but he still had the gun pointed back towards my direction and I fired another three to four rounds.”
None of this is clear from the jumbled body camera video. You can hear Corcoran fire seven shots. Stills from the video capture some of the shots being fired. Porter’s hand holding the gun is out of frame.
Lang said it was evident that Porter picked up his weapon because it was found with Porter’s body — body camera video from other responding officers supports this — not several feet away with the pile of stuff that fell out of Porter’s pocket.
When investigators examined Porter’s gun, Lang said, it showed one of Corcoran’s bullets had struck the weapon. The damage meant the round in the chamber could fire, but not the five rounds in the clip, he said.
After investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Criminal Identification, Corcoran was cleared last week by a Montgomery County grand jury. He had already returned to duty.
Corcoran suffered minor injuries in the incident and told investigators he took every action possible to resolve the conflict peacefully before acting to protect his life.
“I thought he was going to shoot me,” Corcoran told investigators. “I honestly thought right there I was dead.”
Video released Monday also shows Corcoran and Porter interacting earlier in the day. Corcoran’s body camera shows him questioning Porter, who he said was acting suspicious — under-dressed for the weather and hanging out in hotel parking lots. But Corcoran found no reason to detain Porter in the first interaction.
Corcoran went looking for Porter later after two bullet holes were reported at the nearby Motel 6 in a room Porter stayed at the night before.