Toledo police released body camera footage on Tuesday revealing the events leading to the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old robbery suspect. The video shows multiple officers urging the teenager, Jameson Turnbull, to drop his gun before he ultimately pointed it at the officers and was killed.
The incident occurred after Turnbull allegedly robbed a Dollar General store on Phillips Avenue, resulting in a confrontation with the police in a nearby neighborhood. During a news conference on Tuesday, Police Chief Michael Troendle identified eight officers involved in the incident.
In the footage, officers can be heard repeatedly instructing Turnbull to surrender his weapon, issuing the command around 10 times in total. They also engaged in conversation with him, inquiring about his name and attempting to persuade him that his situation was not irreparable.
Officer Benjamin Woody reassured Turnbull, saying, “You haven’t done anything that bad. All you have to do is put the gun down…you’re not in that much trouble…you have a long life ahead of you…you’ll probably get released to your parents.”
Within moments, multiple officers discharged their firearms. One camera angle appears to capture Turnbull raising his gun towards the officers in a menacing manner just before shots were fired.
Troendle did not disclose the number of times Turnbull was wounded, but an autopsy conducted over the weekend confirmed that he sustained multiple gunshot wounds.
“No officer wants to take another person’s life,” Troendle expressed. “They’re trained to preserve life – including their own. The suspect took actions that put their lives in danger, as well as the lives of residents.”
Officers immediately rushed to Turnbull’s aid and initiated life-saving measures. Officer Woody appeared to attempt handcuffing Turnbull, but a female officer intervened and began administering chest compressions after rolling him over.
According to Troendle, standard procedure dictates that once a suspect is on the ground, they should be handcuffed. However, the female officer made the decision not to cuff Turnbull, opting instead to prioritize saving his life.
Less lethal options, such as foam rounds, were considered but were unavailable at the time of the shooting. Troendle explained that the officer responsible for the foam rounds had not retrieved them from their vehicle yet.
The shooting was captured on one camera from a distance, while Officer Woody’s camera view was obstructed by a tree.
Prior to the standoff, Turnbull fired a shot at the officers. A recovered bullet casing matched the handgun found in Turnbull’s possession.
Troendle stated that he was unaware of how the teenager acquired the weapon.
The second suspect involved in the robbery, Turnbull’s 15-year-old brother, was apprehended by the police.