Witness videos capture Grandview officer-involved shooting

Posted at 4:56 PM, Jul 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-04 19:41:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A fatal officer-involved shooting in Grandview on Sunday was captured on camera by witnesses from various angles.

41 Action News obtained the video after it was posted on social media and later verified by the family of 60-year-old Larry San Nicolas. 

In a video recorded across the street from the house, San Nicolas can be seen walking down the driveway, his arms outstretched. The Missouri Highway Patrol said dash cam footage shows San Nicolas was carrying two swords, while the family maintains he had a sword and its sheath.

The footage shows San Nicolas reacting to the two beanbag rounds fired by a Grandview police officer, and he appears to stagger off to the side after taking the hits. Five gunshots ring out as San Nicolas falls to the ground.

The family expressed concern over a lack of hesitation between the bean bag rounds and the actual bullets. 

"The bullets went so fast....and I go, 'Why did you shoot him? You didn't need to shoot him,'" Jessie San Nicolas, his wife of 27 years, said, crying.

Eyewitness Brandon Hitchner agreed.

"I don't know. I don't think the police needed to go that far," he said.

A second video was recorded from the side as the incident played out. It seems to shows San Nicolas jogging down the driveway toward officers, who then open fire.

"The individual continued to rush towards the officers in a threatening manner," Sgt. Bill Lowe of the Missouri Highway Patrol said at the scene on Sunday. 

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We showed both videos to retired FBI agent Michael Tabman, who said the two angles tell two very different stories.

"The first one did not look justified. The second one clearly was justified. He was running toward them in an aggressive manner, and they had reason to fear for their safety," he said.

Tabman cautioned making any definitive judgments without seeing all of the evidence.

The Missouri Highway Patrol said on Wednesday it had seen the videos that were posted. Sgt. Bill Lowe said they have not been added to evidence because a dash cam on a patrol car captured the encounter clearly. He added that the videos do not affect the narrative he provided to media on Sunday.