Bodycam footage shows panicked confrontation between DC police officer, suspect prior to shooting

An officer and a man suspected of brandishing a firearm scream back and forth, panic rising in their voices as they speed down the streets of D.C. before the officer shoots the suspect and bails out of the moving vehicle.

These are the images shown in body camera footage released by D.C. police Friday of an incident from Oct. 22, that left a man with a gunshot wound and a police officer with minor injuries.

Before the shooting, a resident of the Brightwood Park neighborhood of Northwest D.C. reported seeing an armed man with a cast threatening another man with a gun. Police said officers responding to the area searched Natango Robinson, 35, of Southeast D.C., who matched the description. During that stop, officers felt a gun in his waistband, police said.

The video shows an officer pulling up to the scene, where other officers are in the process of trying to detain Robinson, who is in the driver’s seat of an SUV. The officer then gets in the rear seat of the vehicle and instructs Robinson to get out of the car.

Instead, Robinson puts the car in drive and begins to pull away with the officer still in the back seat and the rear door open. The officer begins yelling at Robinson to stop the car and put it in park, but Robinson says he can’t.

The officer then draws his firearm and aims it at Robinson, while he continues to yell, “Put it in park.” Robinson pleads with the officer, saying “I’m not gonna do nothing,” and “Please don’t shoot me.”

The pair continue yelling back and forth for a few more seconds until the officer fires his weapon and bails out of the still-moving vehicle. Just before the shooting, Robinson can be seen lifting his right arm up in the direction of the sun visor.

Another officer comes over to check on him, and picks him up off the ground, while checking to see if he is injured.

The officer who shot Robinson begins to explain why he fired his gun, saying “I fired … he was kidnapping me; he was reaching for something,” before another officer tells him “It’s all right, don’t say anything else. Don’t say anything else.”

It was initially reported that the officer was dragged, but D.C. police Chief Robert Contee clarified that his injuries were sustained when he jumped from the moving vehicle.

Robinson brought himself to a nearby hospital, where he was taken into his surgery for treatment of his gunshot wound before being placed under arrest. He was charged with felony assault on a police officer while armed, kidnapping while armed, unlawful possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, fleeing a law enforcement officer, failure to obey and reckless driving, according to D.C. police.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation.

The entire video can be seen below. Viewer discretion is advised.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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