Witness’s video appears to show Dylan Noble on the ground being shot after he raises hands
Chief Jerry Dyer says officers’ body camera video shows entire shooting
DA’s Office is handling investigation; Dyer says FBI has agreed to review shooting
Lying on the ground beside his pickup, 19-year-old Dylan Noble has already been shot twice, but is still alive when a Fresno police officer fires a shot toward him. Fourteen seconds later, another shot rings out, according to a video of the fatal incident obtained Wednesday by The Bee.
Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Wednesday that officers believed Noble was about to shoot them during the deadly encounter June 25. But officers later learned that Noble was unarmed.
The video, shot by a witness and showing only the last two of four shots fired by officers, surfaced on the day Noble’s family and friends held a private funeral for him in Clovis and the family’s lawyers released a letter asking for an outside law enforcement agency such as the FBI or the state Attorney General’s Office to investigate the shooting.
Dyer said the FBI has already agreed to investigate the shooting. He also said the video given to The Bee does not give a full account of why the officers felt threatened and were forced to shoot Noble.
The witness’s video is only 26 seconds long. It shows two officers barking commands at Noble, such as “Show us your hands” and “Get your hands up.”
An officer then fires toward Noble as he lies face up, his head closest to the officers.
The officers continue to yell at Dylan, who appears to be moving his hands.
Noble tells the officers: “I’ve been shot.”
After a long pause, an officer shoots again. The video then shows Noble moving his hands upward.
Dyer said the two officers shot Noble four times. The video shows the final two shots, he said.
Dyer: Noble ignored officers’ commands
The two officers who shot Noble are veterans, one with 20 years on the police force and the other with 17 years. In defending his officers, Dyer said police gave Noble ample time to surrender, but he ignored officers’ commands in the moments before the witness began recording. What’s not visible in the witness video, Dyer said, is that Noble, while lying on the ground, uses his left hand to lift up his shirt. He then puts his right hand into his waistband. When he suddenly pulls out his right hand, the officer believed he was pulling out a gun, Dyer said. The officer feared for his life and shot Noble, Dyer said.
Noble was shot again 14 seconds later after he put his right hand into his waistband again and pulled it out, Dyer said.
Dyer said his officers were wearing body cameras that give a full account of what happened. He said the entire shooting sequence took about 2 minutes and 20 seconds. And unlike the witness video, which was shot from more than 100 feet away, the officers’ video of the shooting is from about 12 feet away, the chief said.
Dyer said he plans to release the body camera video to the public once the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office completes its investigation.
“I anticipate the criminal investigation will be completed by the end of August as there is a need to wait for all of the physical evidence to be analyzed either by the Department of Justice and/or the Coroner’s Office,” Dyer said.
Reached by phone Wednesday evening, Mayor Ashley Swearengin declined to answer The Bee’s questions on whether she had any concerns about the shooting given the community backlash and the information that’s surfaced so far. She deferred to Dyer and city spokesman Mark Standriff, who is currently on vacation.
About an hour later, Standriff emailed a statement from the mayor, saying the shooting was “an extremely tragic situation. The City is focused on full and complete cooperation with the investigations that are under way by the District Attorney, FBI, Internal Affairs, and the Office of Independent Review, as well as reaching out to the family to offer them the opportunity to view the full video before it is released to the public.”