Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More questions. The family of a man shot and killed by Baltimore City Police calls for an independent investigation into what happened as police identify the officers who fired their weapons.
Meghan McCorkell spoke with the family and has more.
The family of Donte Bennett says there’s too many conflicting reports about how he died. Now they want answers.
Bennett, 25, was shot and killed after he was chased by police.
“I still don’t believe my baby is gone,” said his mother, Yvette Bennett.
While she admits her son did have brushes with the law, Bennett can’t believe police shot him.
“They killed my son execution style when they didn’t have to,” she said.
Investigators say they had intelligence that Bennett was about to commit a crime. He ran as they tried to arrest him and say he pulled out a gun and aimed at officers.
“This individual, while armed, fought with clearly identified officers and at one point armed himself in what resulted in an officer-involved shooting,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez.
A picture shows Bennett lying on the ground, holding a cell phone with what appears to be a gun nearby.
But witnesses in the Douglas Homes community tell a very different story about what happened.
“He was holding onto the gate for dear life. I don’t think they had to shoot him,” said witness Tyesha Teal.
The shooting happened outside Dante Richardson’s apartment.
“I heard the one officer that wasn’t holding him say, `If you don’t put the gun down, we’re going to shoot you,’ and right after that is when the shots went off,” Richardson said.
Police have now identified the three officers who fired–two of which had previously used their firearms in the line of duty. Those officers are Officer Peter Iacovo, Officer Joseph Wiczulis and Officer Kyle Gaskin.
“I’m sick and tired of these police going out here, shooting people and killing them,” Yvette Bennett said.
She says she just wants the truth.
“No, I’m not taking this lying down. I’m tired of it,” she said.
She plans to file a civil suit against city police.
Baltimore City Police have launched an internal investigation and the officers involved in the shooting have been placed on routine administrative leave.
Bennett was wanted on a violation of probation warrant and had previously been convicted of car theft, weapon and drug charges.