A paralyzed man in a wheelchair was shot and killed by police in Delaware Wednesday after reportedly attempting to end his own life.
Warning: Graphic Video
While responding to a 911 call about a suicidal man, law enforcement officers say they encountered 28-year-old Jeremy McDole “armed with a handgun.”
Only seconds after arriving and asking McDole to “show his hands,” one officer can be heard firing his shotgun at the wheelchair-bound man before more officers converge on the scene.
“Show me your hands! Drop the gun! Drop the gun!” police shout.
Seconds later, officers fire more than 10 rounds at McDole as he attempts to reach into his pockets. Police say a .38-caliber handgun was discovered on the body following the shooting.
During a news conference on the incident, McDole’s mother, Phyllis, interrupted police to dispute their version of events.
“He was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down,” she said. “There’s video showing that he didn’t pull a weapon.”
In response, Police Chief Bobby Cummings defended his officer’s actions, stating that an investigation was already underway.
“The officers perceived what was a threat and they responded and they engaged,’ Cummings said.
One witness speaking with NBC Philadelphia stated McDole had fired multiple shots into the air after attempting to take his own life.
“He pulled out his gun. He was trying to shoot himself up there,” a Sean Owens said. “I think he may have shot himself once or twice, but he shot the other shots in the air.”
McDole’s family also questions why officer’s failed to de-escalate the situation with less-than-lethal force.
“Why couldn’t you taser this man out of his wheelchair,” McDole’s sister, Letesha Green, said. “Why couldn’t you use rubber bullets to get him out of the wheelchair?”
The incident is fueling widespread debate over how law enforcement responds to situations involving potentially suicidal suspects.