A body cam video recently uploaded to the Internet shows how little time one Arizona rookie cop had to react when a man suddenly pulled a gun on him.
Officer Tyler Stewart knocked on the door of a Flagstaff residence in December and walked outside with Robert Smith, a suspect in a domestic violence call. The two men were calmly chatting, and Smith could even be seen smiling a few times.
Stewart eventually asked if Smith was armed, which the young man denied. Stewart then asked if he could check Smith’s pockets and appeared to pat Smith’s left coat pocket without a problem. However, as he patted Smith’s right pocket, Smith suddenly pulled out a gun.
No other footage was included in the video, though audio of gunfire can be heard. After nine seconds of silence, Stewart’s service weapon cycling can be heard along with a final shot. According to the Arizona Republic, Stewart was shot five times. The sixth gunshot entered Smith’s home, hitting the fridge and a wall before it was lodged in a kitchen tile.
According to police, the seventh and final shot was attributed to a .40 caliber casing used by Flagstaff police near Stewart’s body.
"Officer Stewart was murdered by Smith without any provocation or warning," Sgt. Margaret Bentzen said. "There were no homicidal or suicidal indications from Smith prior to the crime."
Smith had allegedly told a roommate prior to the shooting that he was considering suicide, according to police reports. After killing Stewart, Smith then fatally shot himself.
Stewart, who had been in the force for less than a year, became only the second Flagstaff police officer in the history of the department to die.