DC releases video of officer shooting man after chase
Police said Mills only disposed of his gun after the officer shot him twice. His mother disputes this claim, saying her son was unarmed when Lingham shot him the second time.
A gun belonging to Mills was recovered in a wooded area behind 2006 Mississippi Ave. SE, near where the shooting happened. It is unclear from the video when Mills got rid of the gun or if he ever fired it.
Lingham, who could not be reached for comment, has been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate the incident. DC police awarded him a “ribbon of bravery” last year, which was given to officers who responded to the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
The video was released under a law passed two years ago that requires police to release body camera footage after a fatal or serious use of force. The law also requires officials to identify the officer involved in the interaction.
His family was no stranger to tragedy. Then he was shot dead by the police.
The incident unfolded around 6:45 p.m. that Friday, when police responded to a report of a domestic violence assault involving a handgun in the 1900 block of Savannah Street SE.
Lingham’s body camera video shows him arriving at the scene and breaking into a run, saying he’s looking behind a row of houses for a black man wearing black pants and New Balance sneakers. He seemed to spot Mills, then yelled, “Forget it. Drop it. Drop your gun.” Mills yells something in response. At this point, the video shows Lingham drawing his own gun and pointing it at the 29-year-old. Mills appears to run away.
Video shows the chase continuing, with Lingham repeatedly demanding that Mills get rid of a gun. “Drop the gun,” the officer said at one point. “I will shoot you.” It looks like Mills kept running.
Lingham then fires a shot behind a fence. According to police, Mills was punched and fell to the ground. As Lingham scales a fence to walk towards Mills, another gunshot is heard. Police say Lingham did not fire the weapon. We don’t know who did it.
As Mills approached, Lingham shouted to “get down” and “spread out”. Mills appears to be on all fours, although the video does not give a clear picture of his position. Lingham continues to tell Mills to drop the gun and threatens to shoot him again.
The windmills seem to rise partly and stretch out an arm towards the grass. Just then, Lingham fired another shot.
The interaction ended with Lingham handcuffing Mills, who was holding a cellphone in his right hand and said he was going to call his mother. He then said, “I have nothing, sir,” and shouted for help.
A 15-round pistol was recovered from the nearby wooded area. Police said Mills threw the gun just after Lingham fired the second shot. Mills’ mother, Lelonie Curry, said he must have thrown the gun away earlier.
“No matter how I look at it, he was no threat to the officer,” said Curry, who added that his son remains hospitalized.
Police questioned the woman who called 911, who said she was romantically involved with Mills. The woman said Mills grabbed and strangled her, revealed a handgun and threatened to kill her.
Mills was taken to hospital in critical condition.