Video emerges of distraught US policeman just moments after he shoots dead unarmed suspect

Coroner's inquiry ruled earlier this week the Montana officer actions were justified

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The Independent US

A video has emerged that shows a distraught US police officer breaking down just moments after he shot dead an unarmed suspect.

Montana police officer Grant Morrison killed unarmed 38-year-old Richard Ramirez in April last year, when Mr Ramirez – high on methamphetamine at the time – reached for his waistband.

In the video the police officer can be seen walking away from the scene of the incident towards a patrol car recently arrived at the scene. The car’s dashcam is still running, capturing the events.

As he reaches the vehicle, officer Morrison suddenly appears to collapse just off the screen prompting other officers nearby to run towards him. One can be heard urgently asking: “Are you hurt?”

He is comforted by his fellow officers, who tell him: “You’re ok, I got you,” but officer Morrison can be heard sobbing and breathing heavily.

In a shaking voice, officer Morrison can be heard to say: “I thought he was going to pull a gun,” before breaking down even further and placing his head into his hands and pounding the bonnet of the patrol car.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” he says as he tries to reassures the officers comforting him.

Eventually, he noticeably pulls himself together and leaves the view of the dashcam to return home.

During a coroner’s court testimony on Wednesday officer Morrison, an officer for five years, said: "I knew in that moment, which later was determined to be untrue, but I knew in that moment that he was reaching for a gun”.

"I couldn't take that risk...I wanted to see my son grow up."

In another video shown to the court, officer Morrison can be heard asking the suspect to raise his hands six times before he opens fire, shooting into the vehicle containing the suspect three times.

The video does not show the actions of Ramirez, who was sitting in the back of a car with two others in front, at the time of the shooting, the Mail Online reported.

Officer Morrison claims that he saw Ramirez drop his left hand to his side – out of the officer’s view – and then “jiggle it up and down”.

Detective Brett Kruger, who investigated the shooting, testified that two cellophane bags containing a small amount of methamphetamine and a syringe were later found near where Ramirez had been sitting.

He had two outstanding warrants at the time of the shooting.

The court later found that officer Morrison, who was cleared of all wrongdoing in another shooting in 2013, was justified in his actions.