Graphic video shows police shooting unarmed Maricopa man threatening to hurt himself

Newly-released body-cam video shows a Maricopa Police officer shooting an unarmed man while another officer uses a stun gun. (WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO)
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 5:20 PM MST
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MARICOPA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- New body-camera footage shows the moments leading up to and when Maricopa officers shot and killed a man they believed was armed with a gun. It happened a month ago in a neighborhood near Mac Neil Street and Sanders Way. Officers later learned 56-year-old Lawrence Knudsen was holding a vape pen in one hand and a cellphone in the other. Knudsen was not armed at the time of the shooting.

On March 27, police say Knudsen called 911 and was threatening to hurt himself. Knudsen told the dispatcher he had a gun but did not want to hurt any officers. In the body-camera footage, several officers are seen pulling up to Knudsen’s house, where he was standing outside. When officers arrived, Knudsen began walking toward them with something in his right hand.

Two officers are heard yelling, “Stop! Back up!” at Knudsen. He refused and continued walking toward one officer, shouting, “Let’s do this.” The officer then shot Knudsen while another used a stun gun on him. Four gunshots are heard on the body camera as Knudsen falls to the ground. Video shows officers immediately tending to Knudsen’s injuries after the shooting. He was then taken to the hospital, where he later died.

Police later found a gun on the tailgate of Knudsen’s pickup truck. The Maricopa Police Department is currently investigating if the officer’s actions are in line with department policies.