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Body cam appears to corroborate Cincinnati Police shooting story

Cincinnati Police Officers, in the midst of a 30-day trial for body cameras, recorded an officer involved fatal shooting Sunday, helping to back up the story told by police and witnesses.

Credit Cincinnati Police
Christopher Mitchell had apparently threatened suicide earlier in the day.

At about 6:45 p.m. Sunday officers went to 379 Rosemont Avenue in West Price Hill for a report of shots fired. That's where they found 37-year old  Christopher Mitchell with a gun to his head. Reportedly he had threatened suicide earlier in the day and pulled the trigger of another gun he held to his head, but it didn't go off. Friends say he had a history of depression and substance abuse.

When he refused to put his gun down, officers, as recorded by a body camera, fired both a shotgun and 9 mm handgun which killed him.

"We never want to see an incident end this way,'' Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black said in a news conference. "Sometimes though, it is unavoidable. My sympathies go out to the victim's family and the officers during the very, very tough time."

Police Sgt. Robert Lind fired the 9 mm handgun. He has served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Police Specialist Scott McManis is a 20-year veteran.

Executive Assistant Chief Paul Humphries said he wasd glad to have the camera video. "I will take any bit of information that gets us to the truth, what actually happened, so anything like this yes, it's not just the spoken word," Humphries said. "Everyone in this who we interviewed had basically the same story. There may be a difference in-I thought I heard this many shots-or that many, but when you've got the video, that is clear cut evidence of what it captured."

New Jersey's Governor has mandated police officers there wear body cameras. Humphries is anticipating the Department of Justice may require all police to wear them, and he has questions about how to handle downloads from the devices and where the funding will come from to buy them.

Cincinnati Police are testing the Vievu and Tasercameras.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.