Watch police footage of the Curtis Park shooting of Darrell Richards
The Sacramento Police Department released 66 additional videos Thursday showing the hours-long search for 19-year old Darell Richards, who was shot dead by police Sept. 6 after allegedly pointing a pellet gun modeled after a 9mm handgun at SWAT officers.
Dozens of officers responded to the residential area south of Broadway that night after Richards – matching a description a 911 caller gave of a masked man with a gun in his hand – ran away from police.
In the most recent video release, officers’ cameras do not catch a glimpse of Richards prior to the shooting.
In body camera footage released Sept. 14, officers ordered Richards to drop his weapon before two of them fired multiple shots in a rapid burst. The body camera of one of those officers was turned off at the time of the shooting. Department spokesman Sgt. Vance Chandler told The Sacramento Bee the camera had accidentally been deactivated earlier when the officer was searching a house. A barbecue grill obscures sight of Richards on the other officer’s camera.
The latest videos show SWAT officers move away from Richards to a position of cover on the side of the house.
“Any time that you’re confronted with someone that’s going to harm you, you would retreat and take cover, not knowing his condition and if he’s going to continue and try to shoot or he has some other weapon he can use on officers,” said Officer Linda Matthew, spokeswoman for the department.
SWAT officers then use a shield to approach Richards, ordering him to show his hands multiple times. When he doesn’t respond, the officers move closer and say they don’t see a weapon in his hands. In previously released footage, the pellet gun can be seen next to Richards’ body.
They call for a medic bag and one officer kneels next to Richards saying, “I got no pulse.” He also says he sees “obvious skull fractures.”
Paramedics from the Sacramento Fire Department arrive six minutes later and eventually pronounce Richards dead after 3 a.m.
The incident began at 11:31 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, when a 911 caller reported that a man wearing a face mask had pointed a gun at him and was making his way up Broadway with a gun in his hand, according to a dispatch recording of the call. The man, wearing a black hoodie cinched around his face and a medical mask, pointed the gun at bystanders at Tower Cafe and Dimple Records, according to police radio communications recorded on Broadcastify, an online archive.
Patrol officers found him in the area of 20th Street and Broadway. He bolted on foot when they tried to talk to him, according to radio communications.
Richards ran south into Curtis Park, hiding in backyards of homes. Officers did not chase Richards on foot, but blocked off the streets, using K-9 officers and a California Highway Patrol airplane crew to find him.
Richards was shot more than three hours later by two SWAT officers when he was found crouching under a stairwell in the backyard of an occupied Curtis Park home, police said in a press release after the incident.
Police released body camera footage and audio related to the fatal incident as part of a city policy mandating videos in critical incidents such as officer-involved shootings be made public within 30 days of the occurrence.