An unarmed man was shot by police in North Miami while assisting an autistic man and during the police press conference, the newly-appointed police chief announced that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is taking over the investigation .
- Charles Kinsey, 47, was shot while assisting an autistic patient
- Police initially received a call about a armed man threatening suicide
- Video was released showing Kinsey lying in the street with his hands up
New video released reportedly shows the man, 47-year-old Charles Kinsey, lying in the street with his hands up.
“Every time I close my eyes, I am just seeing flashbacks,” Kinsey said.
North Miami police held a press conference Thursday morning to address the incident.
The shooting happened Monday evening in an area along North Miami Avenue and Northeast 127 Terrace.
According to the North Miami Police Department, officers were dispatched to the scene after receiving a call about an armed man threatening to kill himself. (To read the full statement, scroll to the bottom of this article).
“Officers responded to the scene with that threat in mind,” Chief Gary C. Eugene said. “We have witness statements that there was a gun. We have the 911 call with that same information.”
When officers arrived, they found Kinsey, a behavioral therapist at an assisted living facility, with an autistic man, who had wandered from the facility. The autistic patient reportedly had a toy truck in his hands.
In the video, Kinsey can be heard telling police that the man was holding a toy truck and that he wasn’t armed.
The autistic patient, who was not armed, was yelling while Kinsey talked with police.
At one point, one of the responding officers fired his gun, striking Kinsey, police said in a press release. The video did not show the moment Kinsey was shot.
Kinsey was taken to the Ryder Trauma Center with non-life threatening injuries.
"When he shot me, it was so surprising, it was like a mosquito bite,” Kinsey said. “And when he hit me, I am like, I still have my hands in the air and I just got shot. And I am like 'Sir, why did you shoot me?' And his words to me were 'I don’t know.'”
The officer involved was placed on administrative leave. The name of the officer has not been released.
A gun was never recovered from the scene, according to police.
During the press conference Eugene also said that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is taking over the investigation.
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who was also at the press conference and whose district North Miami is a part of, said she was stunned by the video and could not believe how things escalated.
“We’re not accustomed to this tension that is evolving because of these shootings," said Wilson. "This cannot happen again.”
The State Attorney Office is also looking at the case, according to North Miami police.
“Bringing in an outside agency shows our commitment to transparency and objectivity in a very sensitive matter,” Eugene said.