DALLAS –– Surveillance footage from a camera mounted on the dashboard of a Dallas police cruiser obtained by News 8 shows the December shooting that resulted in the firing of a senior corporal.
Senior Cpl. Amy Wilburn, 48, was terminated following an internal investigation into her shooting a 19-year-old carjacking suspect in the parking lot of the St. Augustine Townhomes in southeast Dallas on Dec. 9.
The dashcam footage was posted to the Dallas Police Department’s official YouTube page on Dec. 30 but was only accessible to users with the direct link. It lasts five minutes and 11 seconds and appears to back up accounts from a witness at the scene. We've attached it above this story.
Moments before 5 p.m., the department made the video public.
Kelvion Walker, 19, of Dallas, was in the passenger seat of a maroon sedan that was suspected stolen. The video shows the cruiser tailing the car into the parking lot of the townhomes. Seventeen seconds after pulling in, the driver flings open the door and sprints away. An officer in jeans gives chase.
Meanwhile, Wilburn charges the sedan and lurches inside. She pulls her gun and fires into the car. The shooting took place 24 seconds after the sedan entered the complex, the video shows.
The day after the shooting, News 8’s Rebecca Lopez spoke with Scottie Smith, a witness who manages the townhomes. He told her he was standing about 20 feet away from the incident and saw Walker with his hands up inside the car before Wilburn fired into it. Walker is not visible in the dashcam footage.
Twenty seconds after shooting into the car, Wilburn walks to the passenger side and opens the door. She leans in as screams come from the car. She soon exits the vehicle, puts her hands on the top of her head and begins pacing.
Walker was shot in the abdomen and filed a civil suit against Wilburn on Dec. 18. The suit alleges Wilburn “used excessive force” and did not “immediately call for an ambulance,” which is in violation of a suspect's constitutional right to medical care while in police custody. The footage cuts off before paramedics arrive. Wilburn's attorney, Robert Rogers, has told News 8 that his client was justified based on what she knew at the time.
The suit also says Walker did not know the car was stolen and was in the passenger seat mere moments before being shot.
Wilburn, a 12-year veteran of the police force, was fired on Dec. 30 “for firing her weapon upon an unarmed person without fear or justification.” Investigators did not find a weapon in the vehicle. Before the internal investigation, the department said Wilburn fired her weapon only when Walker attempted to exit the vehicle.
Walker's door does not open in the video before Wilburn fires.
In a summary of the internal affairs investigation posted by the department, Wilburn was found to not properly conduct a felony "high risk" traffic stop.
"Officer Wilburn is seen running to the vehicle and not maintaining distance or taking the time a reasonable officer would while approaching a vehicle with armed suspects," it reads.
The investigation also found that Wilburn, if truly fearing for her safety, would not have opened the door and exposed herself to a possibly armed suspect, an act that "a reasonable officer in fear for their safety would not have done."
The department also says Wilburn dropped her weapon inside the car before she walked to the passenger side. The video shows a second officer reach into the vehicle, take her gun and hand it to her using the roof of the sedan.
Police say Reginald Robertson, 19, admitted to driving the stolen maroon sedan and fleeing from police. He was arrested about a week after the incident. He remains in custody at the Dallas County Jail on $300,000 bond, charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, aggravated robbery, disorderly conduct and three counts of misdemeanor assault, county records show.
Wilburn’s case will be forwarded to a grand jury for consideration, as is standard policy.