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FPD Releases Body Worn Camera Footage of Officer Involved Shooting

On July 12, the Fullerton Police Department released body worn camera footage and further explanation of the officer involved shooting that took place on July 5, causing the death of 17-year-old Anaheim resident Hannah Williams on the 91 Freeway. The footage shows that Williams was shot after pointing what turned out to be a handgun replica at Fullerton Police Corporal Scott Flynn.

You can watch the department-released video below. Warning: some footage is graphic and disturbing.

The video, and commentary by chief Bob Dunn and Lieutenant Jon Radus, gives the following narrative:

On Friday, July 5, at approximately 7:00pm, Fullerton Police Corporal Scott Flynn (a K-9 officer) was on his way to take his dog to the veterinarian because of an injury he sustained on a prior call.

As the officer was traveling eastbound on the 91 freeway, approaching the Kraemer Blvd. exit, he noticed a dark-colored SUV traveling past him at a high rate of speed, in violation of the law. The officer then attempted to conduct a traffic stop.

As the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, the gray SUV “appeared to have intentionally collided with his police car.” The driver then made an abrupt U-turn, into oncoming traffic, and came to a stop, facing the wrong way on the freeway.

Because of the erratic behavior of the driver, the officer requested emergency assistance from additional police officers.

After the collision, Corporal Flynn exited his vehicle in an attempt to make contact with the driver of the SUV. He approached on the driver side of the vehicle, at which time he was confronted by a female who was later identified as Williams. She was in a shooting stance, with both arms extended in front of her, pointing what appeared to be a gun directly at the officer.

Still frame from Corporal Flynn’s body-worn camera.

Officer Flynn then took aim and shot her at least three times. He then walked around to the other side of the car, as Williams laid on the ground, he shouted, “Show me your f***ing hands! Show me your hands!”

Flynn then proceeded to handcuff Williams, who by this time was lying on the ground bleeding and shouting, “Help me please, help me” and “I can’t breathe…I can’t breathe…”

Immediately after the shooting, the officer requested a paramedic team to respond to the location. Shortly after that, the officer, and a witness, began providing medical care to Williams, including the use of a tourniquet and a chest seal.

Still frame from body-worn camera showing location of handgun replica.

The gun recovered from the girl turned out to be a replica, which looked real.

At left, replica handgun recovered from the scene. At right, an actual handgun.

Paramedic personnel arrived and continued treatment of Williams. She was transported to a local hospital, where she passed away.

Following the shooting, Corporal Flynn applied a turniquet to Williams’ wounded leg.

At about 8:30pm, the Anaheim PD received a 911 call from Williams’ father, stating that she had been missing for about three hours, was on antidepressants, and may have wanted to harm herself.

The video released by the FPD shows audio footage of this 911 call, and the girl’s father gets more and more emotional as the call goes on. He tells the dispatcher that “she’s never done this” before and that she had not taken alcohol or drugs. By the end, he is weeping.

According to a statement by the Fullerton Police Department:

“Please keep in mind this is an initial review, and our understanding of this incident could possibly change as additional evidence is collected, analyzed, and reviewed. The Fullerton Police Department also does not draw any conclusions as to whether or not our officers acted within our department policy, and the law, until all the facts are known, and the independent investigation by the Orange County District Attorney is complete.”

“With the July 1, 2019 implementation of California Assembly Bill 748, California police agencies are required to release any relevant video or audio pertaining to the critical incident within 45 days. The California State Legislature allows for this 45 day release timeframe because there is an understanding that critical incidents are often complex, sensitive investigations, and it takes time to complete them in a responsible manner. Based on the circumstances of this critical incident and the fact that only one officer was involved, the Fullerton Police Department is releasing this video just one week after this OIS occurred in an effort to not just meet, but exceed the requirements of AB 748.

“As a reminder, while body worn cameras are an excellent investigative tool, they do not always show what the officers may have seen, and vice versa, the officers don’t always see and experience what the body camera footage shows. We ask that the community keep this in mind when viewing these videos.

“Fullerton Police Chief Robert Dunn, and Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, met with the family of the 17-year-old earlier today and provided them with an opportunity to view this Critical Incident Community Briefing prior to its release.”