CLEVELAND — Body camera video has been released by the Cleveland Division of Police showing a sergeant shooting a man outside a nightclub on the city's west side last weekend.
According to police, the incident began with two men involved in an altercation inside of Belinda's Night Club on Madison Avenue at around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Once outside of the club, Cleveland police say the victim, a 28-year-old man, was being chased by a 34-year-old man. In its incident report, police refer to the 34-year-old as a suspect in the incident.
Body camera footage shows the police sergeant doing paperwork in his vehicle outside of the club as the fighting began. When he hears yelling nearby, the officer calls out, "what are you guys doing?" As he honked his horn, shots began to ring out.
The officer got out of his car and yelled out to a man on his right to "put your gun down, put your gun down." He then fired several shots at the man, repeating his command to put the gun down.
The sequence from when the commotion began in the video until when the sergeant fired took just 16 seconds.
After the shooting, the officer started to walk across the street and makes a call that he needs assistance at Belinda's. "I got a male down. Male down," he said. As he works closer to the man, several observers start to enter the scene wanting to assist the fallen man.
"I'm going to help him," the sergeant said to the group. "I'm going to help him. Please stand back." At least five people are seeking to get closer to the man as the officer calls for EMS to arrive.
"Nobody is against you," one of the witnesses tells the officer. "He shot first," others are heard saying.
Approximately two minutes after the incident began, a Cleveland Division of Fire truck is at the scene with a firefighter coming out to provide medical assistance to the man. The victim was found shot a few yards further down the street.
Meanwhile, one of the witnesses tells police that the man who the sergeant shot had been shot at first in the parking lot of the club. "The guy that ran, he shot first in the parking lot," the witness states. "Then he (the man police shot) shot back."
You can watch the entire body camera video below. WARNING: This video features graphic content that may be disturbing for viewers. We have edited the moment in which the man was shot by the officer.
Police add that both men who were shot were taken to MetroHealth Medical Center, where they were confined.
While the investigation of the incident continues, the sergeant who shot the man was placed on administrative leave per Cleveland Division of Police protocol.
Late Thursday evening, 3News received the following statement from the NAACP Cleveland Branch regarding the shooting and body camera video:
"It has come to our attention that there was a police involved shooting last weekend outside of Belinda’s nightclub on Jan 21st. Our hearts go out to those involved in an altercation and shooting. Many in our community, by now, have seen the body cam footage and have undergone yet another instance of community trauma. We know that there is a greater issue at play.
Gun violence is an epidemic! According the the American Public Health Association, gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the United States. We have to do better by our residents. Our city lawmakers and elected officials must work to remove excessive guns off of our streets, we also need community resources and concerned citizens to wrap their arms around those most in need. Violence cannot be the answer to all of our issues. Our citizens have so much to live for and have already dealt with so much loss. We deserve to live in a city that has less violence, but that only happens when we have hope."