The Fullerton Police Department released body-camera footage this afternoon of a controversial, July 5 officer-involved shooting on the 91 freeway in Anaheim that claimed the life of Hannah Williams. The 17-year-old Anaheim girl’s death quickly made national and international headlines, with her parents immediately pushing for answers. Fullerton police announced that they would release a Critical Incident Community Briefing on social media about the shooting, but didn’t specify a date or time.
With footage made public, the department also released body-camera stills that appear to show Williams pointing what turned out to be a replica gun at Fullerton police Corporal Scott Flynn shortly before he gunned her down.
The incident began around 7 p.m. as Flynn was driving his K-9 eastbound on the 91 freeway to see a veterinarian. He observed Williams allegedly speeding on the freeway and attempted to pull her over. The officer radioed that the teen’s black Dodge Durango collided with him on purpose.
Fullerton police further claim that Williams made an abrupt U-turn in the direction of oncoming traffic. The body-camera footage begins after that.
By that time, Williams is already on the freeway pavement, bleeding from gunshot wounds. The officer approaches and orders her to roll over onto her stomach and put her hands behind her back. She complied with both commands.
A man Flynn identified as being with a Los Angeles Police Department unit stopped to assist at the scene. He readily identified the gun on the ground as a replica before tending to Williams, who writhed in pain. “Please, help me!” Williams said. “I can’t breathe.” Gunshot wounds to the chest and leg were identified when Flynn began giving medical aid. Paramedics transported Williams to a nearby hospital, where she died.
With the critical moment happening so rapidly, Fullerton police slowed the body-camera footage down to show Williams standing in front of Flynn at a short distance while pointing the replica gun with both hands. They also released stills from the video of that moment.
“We can’t exonerate him at this point, but we certainly can’t condemn him,” said S. Lee Merritt, an attorney representing the Williams family, of the officer. He spoke to reporters outside the OCDA office in Santa Ana. Fullerton Police Chief Bob Dunn and Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer met with the family today and offered them the chance to review the footage before it was released to the public.
Earlier this week, the DA’s office (OCDA) released a photo of the replica gun recovered at the scene; it was designed to resemble a Beretta 92 FS pistol.
At the end of the 15-minute Critical Incident Community Briefing, the department also released audio from a 9-1-1 call that Williams’ father made to Anaheim police an hour and a half after the shooting occurred. He alerted a dispatcher that his daughter took off with the family’s rental car and had been missing for almost four hours. The father also noted that she took antidepressants.
“Are you afraid that she’s going to hurt herself?” the dispatcher asked.
“I am,” he replied.
By releasing video and audio evidence in a week’s time, the department noted it exceeded the requirements of the new Assembly Bill 748, which compels law-enforcement agencies in the state to release such material within 45 days of a critical incident.
Fullerton police don’t render a judgment on whether Flynn acted legally or within policy by doing so. The OCDA continues its probe into whether the police shooting was justified under the law.
Gabriel San Román is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and the tallest Mexican in OC. He also once stood falsely accused of writing articles on Turkish politics in exchange for free food from DönerG’s!
11 Replies to “Fullerton Police Release Body-Camera Footage of Hannah Williams Shooting”
Immensely sad. This is the result of so called antidepressants that actually cause suicidal thoughts and tendencies. I wish we could go after the manufacturers like the opioid manufacturers.
Children her age should never take brain altering drugs. The effect on an immature brain is much different than that of an adult brain. The human brain is not fully mature until a person is approximately 25 years old. This is so damn sad.
With this comment, I’m venturing out to believe you do not live with a kid with mental health issues. 🙁
TRUE! Some times they will be dead WITHOUT getting anti-depressants that CAN help immensely!
Stay on psychotropics
Go After the So Called Doctor and the Mdical Industry…
Tragic for All Involved.
Where are you idiots that were talking s**t just a couple of days ago. Oh that’s right the video didn’t help your narrative so you’re gonna go hide like the cowards that you are.
Funny how S Lee Merritt shut down his social media accounts after spending all of last week demanding justice and telling people to flood the DA’s office with phone calls. He saw his payday go bye bye so he is going to take his ball and go home. He is the definition of scum bag.
People always want to blame the police . If I was in his shoes I would of done the same thing. He did what he had to do. But these morons who bash police have nothing better to do .
Wow unfortunately this young lady lost her life to mental illness. The police officer did what he had to do. Prayers for all involved
The Girl Lost her Life Due to the Treating So Called Doctor and the Drug Industry.
This incident is a tragedy….however it sickens me the way the news media and journalists report these situations…..from the beginning the media brought racism into this tragedy and now reading this article it infuriates me that this journalist chose to use the statement “shortly before he gunned her down”…..really? How about the officer involved shooting occurred when the suspect pointed a gun (replica) at the officer?
It is sad that police are guilty until proven innocent…..with the way media portrays law enforcement it is amazing these men and women still chose to protect us!