PORTIONS OF BODY CAM FOOTAGE FROM DOUGCO AMBUSH SHOOTING RELEASED
BY: Ryan Haarer and Krystyna Biassou
KUSA – Just over a week after an ambush shooting left both the shooter and a young deputy dead, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office released portions of body camera footage of the firefight and what led up to it.
In an 8-minute long produced video posted to the agency’s Facebook page, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock addresses viewers and says he is attempting to answer lingering questions about that morning.
“There’s a lot of information out there and I would like you to hear from me about what happened,” Spurlock says.
Zackari Parrish, 29, was shot and killed by Matthew Riehl during the early morning hours of Dec. 31, 2017, according to DCSO. Four other law enforcement officers and two neighbors were also shot, but survived.
Spurlock narrates portions of body camera footage from that night in which multiple barrages of gunfire can be heard. Deputy Mike Doyle, who had been shot himself, can be seen giving aid to Deputy Jeff Pelle, who had been shot in the chest.
Spurlock explains that his deputies had been to this apartment before and that the Community Response Team (CRT) tried to assist the eventual shooter at those times.
Spurlock did not specify if Parrish was CRT trained or if he was a member of the CRT team.
Footage of the shooter, including audio, is not in the video, as the agency says it is being sensitive “to the families involved, our employees and members of our community impacted by this tragedy.”
“The video allows the viewer to hear the compassion with which Zackari Parrish interacted with the citizen, the attempts at helping the citizen, the storm of gunfire that deputies encountered from the citizen, and the attempts at a rescue of our deputy,” the Facebook post reads.
In the video, you can hear Parrish speaking to Riehl through the door, offering the would-be shooter help.
“Hey Matt, it’s Zack,” Parrish says, standing at the apartment’s front door. “Yes, we can help you. I’m with the sheriff’s office, right here man. We can talk out here. I just want to make sure you’re OK.”
This portion of the video is a still frame of body camera footage showing officers standing at the door. Parrish tells his fellow deputy, “we are going to take him.” Davis is heard responding “for what?” Parrish says “for an M1.” That’s a mental health hold.
Law enforcement officers can take an individual into custody if they believe that person is harm to themselves or others.
The sheriff’s office has not released unedited body camera video that could show what led Parrish to insist on taking Riehl into custody.
The video then returns to Spurlock’s narration. He says “the times between 5:35 and 5:57 the deputies were developing a plan to provide some medical aid and some mental health aid to this citizen. And at 5:57 this is what took place.”
The video fades to black, then to an image of bullet holes in the wall taken after the shooting. Audio of a barrage of gunfire recorded on the body camera plays underneath video of the bullet holes. Deputies can be heard yelling “back out!” and “shots fired!”
The video then goes back to Spurlock looking into the camera.
“At that point, deputy Zack Parrish was shot and fell in the doorway. Taylor went out a window head first and Mike and Jeff were also hit immediately and they went out the front door. They made an attempt to get back in but the volley of gunfire was too much,” Spurlock said.
The video than returns to the body camera of Deputy Mike Doyle who had been shot in the arm and leg. He begins assisting Deputy Jeff Pelle who had been shot in the chest. The shooter fires another shot and the deputies than move back even further.
The video then cuts to another body camera of deputies with rifles drawn, looking up at the apartment from the ground floor, calling for Parrish. Then there’s another barrage of gunfire from inside the apartment.
The deputies back up again.
The video returns to Spurlock who goes on to thank all of those who responded that night as well as the community for their outpouring of support.
9Wants to Know has requested the full unedited version of the body cam video to understand what happened.
Sheriff Tony Spurlock said he’s going to be available for questions on Tuesday.
This article originally appeared on 9News.