Edited video shows Phoenix officer shooting man stealing police SUV

New graphic video shows a Phoenix officer shooting a man as he's driving away in a stolen police SUV earlier this month.
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 5:26 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — New edited video released on Friday from Phoenix police shows an officer shooting a man who had just stolen a police SUV and was driving away. The man later died at the hospital. It appears he was unarmed.

Police said officers were called out to 75th Avenue and Buckeye Road on March 12 because two men wouldn’t get off a stopped Valley Metro bus. An unidentified police officer arrived in his SUV and parked in front of the bus. He got onto the bus and told 39-year-old Adam Vespoli and an unidentified man to get off. “It’s done. The bus has stopped here. It’s not going any further,” said the officer in the body-cam video.

The unidentified man gets off the bus, and later, so does Vespoli. But the video from the front of the bus shows Vespoli walking over into the police SUV and getting into the driver’s side. The officer then ran outside of the bus to go after Vespoli, and his body camera fell off. The bus’ video show as Vespoli started to drive off, the officer stepped on the running board of the SUV, extended his arm into the SUV and fired his gun three times.

Vespoli crashed into a tree across the street. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died. Investigators said the officer feared for his life. According to a police report, they didn’t confiscate any weapons from Vespoli.

The video released by Phoenix police on Friday only contains part of the raw video. Arizona’s Family has reached out and requested the full unedited videos from the shooting. The officer has been with the Phoenix Police Department for three years and works at the Maryvale Estrella Mountain Precinct.