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Maricopa County releases body camera video of deputy-involved shooting

KNXV Buckeye MCSO Deputy-Involved Shooting Body Camera Video Released
Posted at 3:07 PM, Apr 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 21:24:27-04

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has released part of a 911 call and body camera video from a deputy-involved shooting that happened over the weekend.

Family of Juan Torres called 911 late on April 12 asking for help getting him to an institution for treatment of a mental crisis.

Responding deputies ended up shooting and killing Torres after they say he threw a wrench at them and advanced with a hammer. Family members who watched the incident have disputed MCSO's account, saying they never saw the wrench hit anyone.

Video released by MCSO on Wednesday shows the encounter. A short fence separated Torres from the deputies, and he paced back and forth with a wrench in one hand and a hammer in the other. The video shows Torres and the deputies yelling at one another.

Body camera shows the two deputies fired after Torres advanced toward the fence and threw the wrench. Sheriff Paul Penzone said it hit one of the deputies on the back of the head while ducking to avoid it.

"The investigation will take its course, but from what I have seen here I think that the deputies were in a position where they had no other choice but to respond with deadly force to protect themselves," Penzone said.

"Never in a million years when I called the sheriff's office to come to help my brother did I think that I was going to see my brother shot and killed in my parent's backyard," Torres' sister Vanessa told ABC15 Tuesday.

Penzone says the deputies fired a total of 11 times, hitting Torres as many as 7 times. Penzone said the autopsy had been completed, but he had not yet seen the report.

The deputies involved were not identified, but Penzone said one had three years of experience and the other had seven.

The sheriff's office was still in the process of investigating the incident, Penzone said.