COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The other Columbus police officer who was present at the fatal shooting of Andre’ Hill on Dec. 22 said she heard Adam Coy yell, “There’s a gun in his other hand! There’s a gun in his other hand!” just before Coy fired.
A week after Hill died and a day after Coy was fired for his actions before and after the shooting, the Columbus Division of Police released additional documents Tuesday morning related to its internal investigation of Coy, a 19-year member of the force. Those included an interview with the other officer present, Amy Detweiler.
Detweiler said that she never saw a gun, and Hill was later determined to be unarmed.
Mayor Andrew Ginther and Police Chief Thomas Quinlan recommended last week that Coy be terminated for failing to turn on his body camera before the shooting and for failing to offer immediate medical assistance for Hill, a 47-year-old Black man. Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. upheld their recommendation Monday, with documents stating that Coy also failed to use de-escalation techniques before firing.
Coy and Detweiler responded to a non-emergency call in the 1000 block of Oberlin Drive of reports of a vehicle being restarted multiple times during the early morning hours.
In her interview with Internal Affairs detectives last Wednesday, Detweiler said when she arrived at the scene, Coy was already there and outside his vehicle and that Hill was walking away from an SUV parked in the street. She said that Coy told her that Hill had just moved the SUV. Hill then walked into an open garage.
Off. Amy Detwiler’s full interview with investigators
Detweiler said she and Coy approached the garage, which was dark. They illuminated the garage and saw Hill looking down standing next to a car and not attempting to enter the house. The report said, “Officer Detweiler explained she treated the incident as a suspicious person run,” and that she and Coy had their weapons drawn.
Detweiler said that Coy asked Hill to exit the garage, using a normal tone. Hill did not say anything in response but turned and walked out of the garage. She said Hill walked toward her with a phone in his left hand.
“Officer Detweiler stated she did not observe any threats from Mr. Hill,” the report said.
She said Hill reached the rear bumper of the vehicle and turned toward Coy. Hill brought down his left hand, and Detweiler said she could not see Hill’s right side. Then Coy yelled that he saw a weapon, and Detweiler said she heard gunfire.
Detweiler’s interview was one piece of evidence that was used in terminating Coy from the police force. It was later determined that Hill was a guest at the house. Ginther and Quinlan have said that they are also investigating other officers who responded, which would include Detweiler.
Coy was cited for failing to turn on his body camera until after the shooting, which preserved only the previous 60 seconds of video with no audio through a look-back feature. It is unknown when Detweiler turned on her body camera or when footage from it may be made public.
In a written report, Quinlan said that he became concerned almost immediately after the shooting.
“I observed events with my own eyes and ears that in my experience raised many alarms as to the officer’s actions in using deadly force,” he wrote.
Quinlan wrote that he was notified of the shooting minutes after it occurred and that he went directly to the scene. He later spoke to Coy and Detweiler at a precinct substation.
“I have personally observed the officer’s demeanor and interactions with other officers present,” Quinlan wrote. “I have responded to many officer-involved shooting scenes and spoken with many officers following these critical incidents.
“There was something very distinct about the officers’ engagement following this critical incident that is difficult to describe in this letter.”
The state BCI is leading the criminal investigation into the shooting, and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office has appointed state Attorney General Dave Yost as a special prosecutor in the case. Hill’s family has retained national civil rights attorney Ben Crump.