WARNING: The video below in this article may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Body cam footage obtained by WKRG News 5 of the officer-involved shooting on Oct. 4, 2022, leading to the death of Colin West, gives insight into the hour and 40-minute-long negotiation deputies had with West before his death.
On Oct. 4, 2022, deputies received a call to 106 Payne Road, about an armed disturbance. After deputies knocked on the door, a woman came out, saying a male had a firearm inside of the home.
West did not listen to deputies telling him to come out of the house with his hands up, according to Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons. Simmons said West opened the door, came out with the handgun and started shooting at deputies.
The deputy whose body camera footage was obtained said in his FDLE investigation interview on the day of the incident, while working a side job, he heard a call over the radio related to a disturbance. Upon reading the notes related to the call, he discovered it involved a husband pointing a gun to his wife’s head, so the deputy responded to the call.
During the incident, the deputy said he began to give West verbal commands using his PA. In the video, West does not come out of the home. Eventually, the deputy said verbal commands were taken over by another deputy who is on the agency’s negotiation team.
While by his vehicle, the deputy said he saw West open the door, pointed a firearm in his direction and fired his handgun in the direction of West. After the shooting, the deputy said he approached the residence and saw a firearm near West’s body.
Eight deputies were placed on administrative leave while FDLE investigated the incident. On Monday, the State Attorney’s Office said they have finished reviewing FDLE’s investigation and they said the actions of the deputies was justified and no criminal charges will be filed.
According to the FDLE, during their investigation of the crime scene and review of both in-car and body camera footage, no evidence was found that West “actually fired his handgun during the incident in question.”
Simmons gave a statement to WKRG News 5 on Monday about the incident. He said regardless if Colin West fired shots or not, he pointed a gun at deputies after being advised not to.
“There were a number of deputies at the scene covering the front door. When he opened the door and pointed his gun at deputies, they fired. Initial reports were that he fired at deputies. Ultimately, it matters not whether he fired first or even fired at all. He pointed a gun at deputies after being advised not to. This is indisputable.”
He said the end result was not what anyone wanted.
“The truth of the matter is that actions have consequences,” Simmons said. “When an individual raises a gun at deputies, there are consequences. There is no way to sugarcoat that. If you fight with a deputy, you may get injured, if you raise a gun at a deputy, those consequences can be fatal. We tried to get him to come out peacefully, he instead chose to open the door and raise a gun at deputies.”