While pulling over a vehicle during a traffic stop, a Connecticut police officer suddenly opened fire on an unarmed man and his unarmed girlfriend. According to videos of the incident, the officer ordered the man out of the vehicle before firing at him and shooting his passenger without provocation.
Around 4:15 a.m. on April 16, Yale Police Officer Terrance Pollock responded to a call to assist Hamden Police Officer Devin Eaton, who was looking for a vehicle possibly involved in a robbery. According to his police body cam footage, Eaton immediately opened fire on Paul Witherspoon III, who exited the vehicle with his open palms in the air.
After missing his initial rounds at Witherspoon, Officer Eaton suddenly ran to the passenger side of the vehicle and shot Stephanie Washington, who was also unarmed inside the car. Washington was later transported to a hospital and survived her bullet wound.
During a recent press conference, Connecticut State Police Commissioner James Rovella stated, “There were indications that he was told to open the door…or come out with his hands up.”
Commissioner Rovella also confirmed that officers did not recover a gun on Witherspoon when apprehending him or his passenger. According to Rovella, Yale Police Officer Terrance Pollock suffered a non-life-threatening injury in the shooting and was believed to have been hit by a “projectile” from Eaton.
After Witherspoon was detained, police eventually released him without any charges. Eaton and Pollock have reportedly been placed on paid leave pending an investigation into the incident.
Both the Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut State’s Attorney’s Office are continuing their investigation of the shooting of an unarmed woman by law enforcement.