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Phoenix officials release video showing police fatally shooting former NFL player


Phoenix police released a body camera video this week showing police fatally shooting a former NFL player. 

The police fired at least 10 shots after the man did not drop his weapon after their demands. The weapon was later determined to be a BB gun. 

The Phoenix Police Department on Monday identified the man killed in the Nov. 30 incident as Ekom Udofia, who formerly played football for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and Cincinnati Bengals and for Stanford University.

The body camera videos showed three officers shooting Udofia and firing less-lethal munitions as the former football player approached the officers and as they instructed him to put down his weapon. Udofia, who came from a Nigerian family, later died at the hospital.

In the video, the police vehicle. partially blocks the view of the incident, but the former football player can be seen moving slowly toward the front of the police car. 

Both officers initially on the scene drew their guns on Udofia and repeatedly instructed him to put down his weapon for 30 seconds before firing at least five times.

Udofia then falls to the ground as video audio picks up his screaming before officers deploy stun bags and baton rounds, according to the video. 

Minutes later, police said Udofia then pointed his weapon at the officers, but that cannot be seen clearly in the video. Officers responded by firing at least six more times at him. 

One of the officers shot Udofia with multiple pepper balls directing him to “move away from the gun” before a canine was deployed and dragged him away from the BB gun. 

Phoenix police spokesperson Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said the incident will undergo an internal and criminal investigation. After the criminal probe, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will receive the case and decide whether the officers will face charges. 

Fortune identified the officers involved in the incident as Ryan Hoffrichter, Lance Wisuri, Nathaniel Hansen and Steve Mead, who have been with the department between two and 21 years. 

Police reported the incident occurred at about 2 a.m. after receiving a call about a man “acting strange” and appearing to jump “onto vehicles as they were driving.” Upon arrival, the officers determined the man in question was about 35 feet away and holding a weapon. 

The department said its officers shot at the man when he was “within feet” and after he did not comply with orders to drop his weapon. Police reported firing less-lethal munition after he continued to ignore requests to put down the weapon.

After Udofia allegedly pointed the gun at officers and was shot again, police said he continued to move toward the gun, prompting officers to use pepper balls and a canine to keep him away and take him into custody. 

The Arizona Republic reported that Udofia had had mental health issues in recent years and was arrested and put on probation for disorderly conduct and indecent exposure.

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Court documents said Udofia “does not view himself as a bad person and believes he needs more help with his mental health than jail time.”

“His criminal history has all been mental health related and he is in a good place now,” the documents said.

Tags Arizona body camera body camera footage Football Law enforcement Mental health NFL Phoenix Police police shooting Shooting

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