New video gives insight into chase, officer-involved shootingPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Dramatic new video obtained by 3TV paints a different picture of a police chase that ended with a sheriff's deputy killing a man.
In the weeks since the shooting, there have been serious questions raised about whether that shooting in Eloy was justified. Even the FBI is getting involved in the investigation.
We've seen video of the incident that was shot by a witness using a cell phone. That video shows a Pinal County Sheriff's Deputy shooting and killing an unarmed man, who seemed to raise his hands and turn his back as the bullet was fired.
But, newly-released police "dash-cam video" gives you a better look at what the suspect is doing after he gets out of the car.
"He was driving head-on into vehicles," says Tim Gaffney with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office."Is his car a weapon at that point?" "Yes, it would be considered a weapon."
Gaffney says the grainy cell phone video doesn't show the more clear perspective of the dash-cam from inside an Eloy police cruiser as the officer chased Manuel Longoria in a stolen car.
The car swerved numerous times into the paths of oncoming law enforcement vehicles, but Gaffney tells 3TV that Longoria himself threatened that he had a different weapon too.
"Almost hits pedestrians, bicyclists," says Gaffney. "The pursuit goes on for 70 minutes. During the pursuit he actually rammed vehicles on three separate occasions. He got out of his vehicle; he gets out and he's screaming that he has a gun, he's armed, he isn't going to be taken alive, this isn't going to end well."
The dash-cam shows a unique perspective of the ending of the chase. When an officer forced the stolen car to stop, Longoria jumped out holding his right hand behind his back. Law enforcers issued him commands to not reach back into the car, and even fired less-than-lethal weapons at him. Gaffney says that a split-second before Longoria was shot with a rifle, he reached into the car again, and came back out, pointing his hands.
"The officer definitely has a right to defend himself," says Gaffney. "He has a wife and kids; wants to go home at the end of his shift."
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has called this shooting justified.
A little more about Longoria: Law enforcement tells 3TV that he has a record, including several counts of: contempt of court, obstruction of justice, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, driving with a suspended license and failure to appear.