Bodycam footage released by Ohio’s Clark County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday shows a deputy shooting a photographer who was unloading his camera tripod from his vehicle, apparently mistaking the equipment for a weapon.
“Dude, I thought it was a freaking gun,” Deputy Jake Shaw can be heard saying, as he rushed to help New Carlisle News photographer Andy Grimm, whom he knew.
“Andy, I’m sorry brother,” Shaw said. “Listen, dude, you pulled that out like a gun out the back of the Jeep.”
Grimm was attempting to set up his camera to photograph a traffic stop on Monday when Shaw fired twice at Grimm without giving warning.
“I thought you saw me wave and flash my lights. … You weren’t looking – that’s my fault. It’s my fault,” Grimm said. “I don’t want you to lose your job.”
The gunshots and the exchange between Grimm and Shaw can be heard on the footage, but little is visible.
Grimm later told the New York Daily News that one of the bullets struck him in the chest and the other may have grazed his shoulder.
“I turned around from the Jeep and it seemed like instant, I heard ‘pop, pop.'” Grimm told the newspaper on Tuesday. “Now that I’m okay, I’m not so much mad, but when I was on the ground and in the back of the ambulance, I was kind of angry at him.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Division is investigating the shooting, and Shaw is on administrative leave until the probe’s conclusion, a press release from the sheriff’s office said.
“Our hearts and prayers are with Mr. Grimm as he recovers and with Deputy Jake Shaw and we ask the community to keep both of them in your hearts and prayers as well,” the release said.
Grimm has repeatedly said he does not want Shaw to be fired as a result of the shooting. Grimm’s father Dale, who runs the New Carlisle News, told The Washington Post the men have an “excellent relationship” with the sheriff’s department, but declined to say whether he believed Shaw should be held accountable.
“This is a small town of 5,000 people,” he told The Post. “We know the deputies. We work with them on a daily basis.”
Watch the footage below: