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Falcon Heights shooting: Facebook video captures aftermath of fatal police encounter in Minnesota

The man, identified by family as Philando Castile, died at the hospital

Feliks Garcia
New York
Thursday 07 July 2016 05:49 BST
Falcon Heights shooting

A 32-year-old Minnesota man has died after being shot by a police officer during an apparent traffic stop. The aftermath of the shooting was captured on Facebook Live.

Local CBS affiliate WCCO confirmed that the man shot by police was Philando Castile. He died at the Hennepin County Medical Center.

St Anthony police confirmed that a man shot by one of their officers died at the hospital.

The video, shot by the Mr Castile’s girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, and posted to Facebook, shows the man bleeding in the driver’s seat in his vehicle as the officer continues to point his firearm. Ms Reynolds said in the video that they were pulled over in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St Paul, for a broken tail light. Ms Reynolds' Facebook account appeared to be deactivated at the time of writing.

Ms Reynolds said that Mr Castile was an employe of St Paul Public Schools. JJ Hill Montessori School in St Paul lists him as "Phil Castile", the cafeteria supervisor.

Ms Reynolds described the sequence of events repeatedly throughout the video, during which she said the officer asked the driver for his license and registration.

“He told him that it was in his wallet, but he had a pistol on him because he’s licensed to carry. The officer said don’t move. As he was putting his hands back up, the officer shot him in the arm four or five times,” she said.

The officer can be heard yelling in the video: “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand out.”

The woman's four-year-old daughter was inside of the vehicle when the shooting took place.

During the 10-minute video, Ms Reynolds was ordered out of her vehicle by a group of mostly-white police officers, and placed in the back of a squad car while handcuffed. Her daughter later joined her. At one point in the video, the child tells her mother, "It's OK. I'm right here with you."

Ms Reynolds remained in police custody at the time of this writing.

The shooting comes a day after the shooting death of Alton Sterling, 37, by Baton Rouge police officers.

The Justice Department announced that they opened an investigation into the shooting Wednesday afternoon after video appeared to contradict official police accounts that Mr Sterling was holding a gun.

Some 525 people have been fatally shot by police in the US so far in 2016, accrording to The Guardian's interactive database catalog, "The Counted". The database did not yet include Mr Castile.

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