An emotional day of mourning for one victim of police violence, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, ended with gut-wrenching news of another on Wednesday night, as word spread on social media that a black man in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, had been shot by an officer during a traffic stop.
An astonishing video of the 10 minutes immediately following the shooting, in which a man could be seen slumped over and bleeding profusely through his white T-shirt while a police officer aimed a gun at him through his window, was filmed from the passenger seat of the car by the man’s girlfriend and streamed live on Facebook.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune identified the victim as 32-year-old Philando Castile, a cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori school in St. Paul. According to the paper, Castile died a few minutes after being brought to a hospital.
The graphic and disturbing video can be seen below.
In the video, which was greeted with sickened disbelief all over the country on Wednesday night as news of the shooting spread, a woman who was with Castile at the time of the incident could be heard explaining that her boyfriend had been shot after informing the officer he was legally carrying a firearm.
“We got pulled over for a busted taillight in the back,” the woman said, speaking into her camera in a deliberate and steady voice as her young daughter sat watching from the back seat. “And the police just … they killed my boyfriend. He’s licensed to carry. He was trying to get his ID and his wallet out of his pocket, and he let the officer know he had a firearm and was reaching for his wallet. And the officer just shot him in his arm.”
The officer next to the car could be heard screaming, “I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hand up!”
The woman replied, “You told him to get his ID, sir, his driver’s license. Oh my God, please don’t tell me he’s dead.”
No footage—dashcam, bodycam, or otherwise—has emerged of the shooting itself, or what came before it. The officer who shot Castile has not been identified but was confirmed to be a member of the St. Anthony Police Department. A press release issued shortly after midnight said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was leading an investigation into the shooting.
More from the Star Tribune:
About 12:35 a.m. Thursday, Valerie Castile and her daughter emerged from the HCMC emergency room to the waiting arms of friends and family members. “They killed my son,” Valerie Castile said, sobbing. “They took a good man, a hard-working man; he worked since he was 18 years old.”
Philando’s sister, who was also crying, said, “They killed my brother. They held a gun on him while he was hurting, and did nothing to help him.”
News of the shooting in Minnesota was reported Wednesday night shortly after the New York Daily News unveiled its shocking Thursday cover, showing the bloodied and lifeless body of Alton Sterling, who was shot Tuesday in the chest and back while being pinned down by two Baton Rouge officers.