CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Video of an officer-involved shooting has been released to the public.
The body camera footage from a Champaign County Sheriff’s deputy shows the police yelling to the suspect, telling him to drop his weapon several times.
Police say Samuel Applebaum refused and forced officers to fire. He was shot in the leg. Police later learned he was carrying a pellet gun.
Applebaum has since bonded out of jail and faces charges of disorderly conduct. The video shows the response call from beginning to end.
It shows police confront Applebaum and, when he doesn’t drop the gun, they fire. The public is getting a look at the body camera footage from an officer-involved shooting.
Sheriff Dan Walsh says he wants others to see how events unfolded.
“It’s a very sad situation, but I don’t know if the officer could have, or should have, done anything differently.”
Police were called to the intersection of Locust and John for a report of a man with a gun.
“You see him approaching the subject near his squad car. You see him, and also the UI officers screaming out many times, ‘Drop the gun. Drop it. Drop the gun, drop the gun,’ you hear the firing.”
Boom, boom, boom, seven times police told Applebaum to drop the gun. After shots were fired, police ran to give him medical attention.
“Deputies calling on the radio for help and they get him secured and their rendering first aid to him, including putting a tourniquet on.”
As police help Applebaum, they find out his weapon was a pellet gun. Walsh says the police responded the best way they could.
“Given what I know about it now, given what’s in the videotape, I think the officers acted very reasonably. They did things they are trained to do.”
This should be a warning for why pellet guns should not be used in public.
“You can’t tell. You could be a few feet away and it looks like a real gun. The manufacturers design them so they are played with and they do look like real guns and the officer can’t tell.”
Applebaum bonded out of jail last week and is getting mental health treatment at a hospital in Chicago. This was a condition of his bond and he’s due back in court in September.
Two officers and a deputy were put on administrative leave after the shooting. The deputy has returned to duty, the officers are still on leave. Illinois State Police are conducting the investigation.