Police in Muskogee, Oklahoma have released a graphic video showing the moment a suspected armed man was shot dead by a police officer outside a church wedding last week.
The extremely graphic video, which was filmed by officer Chansey McMillin's body camera, appears to show Terence D Walker being patted down after threatening a wedding guest's life. McMillin tells Walker to relax and asks why he is shaking.
Walker then strikes the officer and flees, with the officer in pursuit. Walker drops an object on the road, believed to be a loaded and cocked gun. When he bends to retrieve it and stands to run he is shot five times. Another wedding guest then appears and remonstrates with the officer, but is told to get back.
The incident is being investigated by Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Police Sgt Michael Mahan said: "Right now what we are doing is just maintaining a level of transparency. We want to assure the public, yes OSBI is conducting the investigation, but anything we answer or anything that we can provide, we are doing that."
Recently there have been a number of shootings in the US which have led to accusations of police brutality and racism. Although the officer involved in this death was white and the victim black, the grandmother of the wedding bride said she didn't think officer McMillin had a choice.
Although the officer involved in this fatal shooting was white and the victim black, the grandmother of the wedding bride said she didn't think officer McMillin had a choice.
"When I came out he was crying. His head was on the trunk of his police car," said Sonya Thomas. "It's not a black and white issue. Don't try to make it a black and white issue – it's just narrow-minded people that are trying to make it a black and white issue."
In the wake of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, St Louis, US President Barack Obama called for police officers to be routinely equipped with body cameras so that the precise circumstances of similar incidents could be swiftly cleared up.
However despite the release of footage of the Muskogee shooting, opinion remains divided over whether McMillin – who joined the police in 2012, and shot and wounded another man in 2014 – was right to shoot Walker.
One YouTube viewer commented: "'justified' my azz… so running away from a cop is grounds for capital punishment now? total bullshtt… he picked up the gun and was running away… shot in the back… he never pointed it at the cop."
However others supported the officer involved. One wrote: "You don't GIVE a perp the chance to point his gun at you. Kill or BE killed… that's the mentality you HAVE to possess to be a cop or a permitted gun carrier. You don't wait for the first bullet to be fired, by the criminal… that's just stupid."