Dramatic police bodycam video was released showing Sgt. Keith Sweeney shooting an unarmed man who was trying to commit suicide by lighting himself on fire.
An Oklahoma City police officer “crossed the line” when he shot an unarmed suicidal man last month, says Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, The Oklahoman reports. Sgt. Keith Patrick Sweeney, 32, is charged with second-degree murder. Prosecutors allege the shooting was unreasonable and unjustified. Dramatic bodycam video of the shooting was released in a news conference Tuesday. Sweeney fatally shot Dustin Pigeon, 29, on November 15 after the victim called 911 threatening suicide. Officers found Pigeon holding a bottle of lighter fluid and a lighter, threatening to set himself on fire. “As the officers moved closer to Mr. Pigeon, they noticed sparks coming from his right hand,” Prater said.
Pigeon had poured the lighter fluid on himself and was trying to ignite the lighter. Officers Erik Howell and Troy Nitzky approached Pigeon and attempted to deescalate the situation, asking him to put down the lighter fluid. A third officer, Sweeney, then approached Pigeon with his gun drawn yelling, “Drop it!” Sweeney then shouted, “I will f—— shoot you! Get on the ground!” Nitzky fired one round from a bean bag shotgun, striking Pigeon in the left hip. “Just after the bean bag impact, … Sgt. Sweeney shot Pigeon five times with his 9 mm handgun,” Prater said. An investigation later found that Pigeon was unarmed and “not a threat to the officers when he was shot by Sgt. Sweeney,” a police investigator said in a court affidavit.