CONCORD, N.C. — Body-camera footage shows a North Carolina police officer shoot an unarmed man five times after a chase, pause to call dispatch, and then shoot him again, attorneys for the dead man’s mother said Tuesday.
Attorneys for Brandon Combs’ mother, Virginia Tayara, said they were in “utter disbelief” after being shown the video of the February shooting last week, news outlets reported. The attorneys called on officials to release the footage to the public and charge the officer involved.
Concord police had initially described the shooting as resulting from a “physical confrontation” at a car dealership where Combs, a 29-year-old white man, was trying to steal a truck.
But Tayara’s attorneys say the footage shows that no struggle ever occurred between Combs and Officer Timothy Larson before the officer opened fire. Instead, they said it shows a short foot chase that ended when Combs got into the driver’s seat of Larson’s police SUV.
They said the officers shot Combs five times, called dispatch and then shot him again. They did not specify how much time elapsed between the fifth and sixth shots. A spokesperson for the Concord Police Department didn’t immediately return a phone call or respond to an email seeking comment on Tuesday.
“He murdered him. He shot him in cold blood. I just want the officer held accountable and I want the city of Concord to make some changes to the way they do business,” Tayara said.
Civil rights attorney Harry Daniels told The Charlotte Observer that it was one of the worst police-shooting videos he has ever seen and that Combs’ death hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves because police presented the shooting as an “open-and-shut case.”
“We didn’t know anything until we saw (the video). We watched it in utter disbelief,” Daniels said. “The most disturbing thing is not the unjustified use of deadly force, but that (Larson) paused and then used deadly force again. The first five shots were bad enough. The last shot was overkill, man. It was overkill. I can’t make sense of it.”
Daniels and the other attorneys representing Combs’ family called on Cabarrus County District Attorney Roxann Vaneekhoven to charge Larson with a crime or take the case before a grand jury for a possible indictment.
The State Bureau of Investigation, which investigated the shooting, sent findings to Vaneekhoven earlier this month, according to SBI spokesperson Anjanette Grube.