Published on Jan 15, 2015 by TomoNews US
Unsettling lapel camera video shows the moment Tyler Stewart, a 24-year-old rookie officer with the Flagstaff Police Department in Arizona, was shot dead at point blank range on December 27 by a man he had been chatting with amiably just seconds before. Stewart had been on the force less than a year.
Following media requests, Flagstaff PD has released video from the the dead officer’s camera. An edited extract has been made available to the public.
At 1.30 p.m. and Officer Stewart visited the home of 28-year-old Robert Smith, having been given directions to the house on West Clay Avenue by Smith’s girlfriend. At roughly 11 a.m. that day, the woman, unnamed in media reports, had called police to report a violent argument with Smith.
The video shows the Officer Stewart and Smith talk briefly in the doorway before Stewart walks back into a room and reemerges with his hands in his pockets. Stewart did not know Smith was now concealing a .22 calibre revolver.
After a discussion about the reasons for the callout, Stewart asks to frisk Smith. At that moment, Smith pulls the weapon from a pocket and fired on Stewart six times. Four shot struck Stewart in the head and one in the back.
Audio from the lapel camera records a seventh and final gunshot nine seconds after the attack. Police would soon discover this bullet was fired from Stewart’s service weapon by Smith to take his own life.
Police have no motive for Stewart’s killing. Sgt. Margaret Bentzen told the Arizona Daily Sun. “There were no homicidal or suicidal indications from Smith prior to the crime.”