A man was fatally shot by a police officer while answering the front door of his home following a noise complaint made by his neighbor.
The incident occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, where the police were responding to a noise complaint as they knocked on the door of 40-year-old Ryan Whitaker at around 10 pm on May 21.
According to the reports, Whitaker was playing video games with his girlfriend, Brandee Nees, when the pair heard an unexpected knock on the door.
As AZCentral reported, the 40-year-old allegedly answered the door with a gun in his hand because a stranger previously that month knocked on his door in the middle of the night.
Once the man opened the door holding a handgun in his right hand, he appeared to be surprised to see police officers and immediately put his gun behind his back.
In a matter of seconds, police officer Jeff Cooke shot Whitaker at least two times in the back despite the man dropping to his knees in a presumed attempt to comply with the orders.
Moments after her partner collapsed, Nees came running out of the apartment yelling: “Why did you guys shoot him?”
Responding to the sobbing girlfriend after ordering her to kneel down, Cooke said: “He just pulled a gun on us, ma’am.”
“Because it’s dark and someone just knocked on the door,” she replied.
Following the deadly incident, Whitaker’s family insisted the father got shot despite putting his gun away and dropping to his knees. Nees has also alleged that the couple wasn’t fighting when the report was made.
“Literally we were making salsa and playing Crash Bandicoot, so there may have been some screaming. It wasn’t domestic violence or anything,” she said.
After the premature death of the 40-year-old father, a petition called ‘Justice for Ryan’ was made and has already racked up more than 20,000 signatures.
Following public outrage, Phoenix Police released 30-minute footage recorded by Cooke’s partner, Officer John Ferragamo, in which Cooke is seen shooting the kneeling man in the back.
According to the reports, it is now up to Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to review the case and determine whether officer Cooke will be criminally charged or not.
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