The Columbus cop who answered a non-emergency call that ended in the death of an unarmed Black man on Dec. 22 has shared her own version of events, directly contracting the officer who fired the fatal shots.
Officer Adam Coy was fired on Monday after killing Andre Hill while responding to a 1:37 a.m. call from a neighbor who said that a man was sitting in an SUV in a garage for an extended period.
Coy only turned his body-worn camera on after the shooting but a “look-back feature” captured the preceding 60 seconds without audio.
An internal affairs report released on Tuesday offers details about what Coy’s colleague, Officer Amy Detwiler, saw that morning.
Detwiler arrived on the scene shortly after Coy and saw Hill walking from the SUV into a garage of a home. (Hill was an “expected guest” at the home, Mayor Andrew Ginther later said.)
Detwiler said Hill wasn’t trying to get into the home but she was concerned and felt like he might need “assistance” to get inside. However, Coy ordered Hill to exit the garage.
Hill complied and, without saying anything, started walking out of the garage with his cellphone in one hand and his other hand in his pocket.
At that moment, Coy yelled, “There’s a gun in his other hand, there’s a gun in his other hand!’” and started shooting, according to Detwiler.
But Detwiler told investigators she didn’t see a gun and “did not observe any threats” from Hill as he walked out of the garage. No gun was found at the scene.
After the shooting, neither officer came to Hill’s aid for several minutes, according to an investigation by the police department, and the two cops handcuffed Hill as he lay on the ground dying.
In a report written on Dec. 26, Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said he felt something was off when he arrived on the scene, observed the officers and then watched the body-cam footage—although he didn’t elaborate on his observations.
“I have responded to many officer-involved shooting scenes and spoken with many officers following these critical incidents,” Quinlan wrote. “There was something very distinct about the officers engagement following this critical incident that is difficult to describe for this letter.”
In recommending Coy be fired, Quinlan said the veteran cop’s conduct was “reckless and deliberate” and “not a ‘rookie’ mistake.”
Quinlan also said he had serious concerns about Coy’s actions on the force since at least 2008. The Daily Beast has found at least 180 complaints against Coy during his nearly 20 years as a police officer.
Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. fired Coy on Monday. “The actions of Adam Coy do not live up to the oath of a Columbus Police officer, or the standards we, and the community, demand of our officers,” he said in a statement. “The shooting of Andre Hill is a tragedy for all who loved him in addition to the community and our Division of Police.” Coy is still facing a criminal investigation.
Hill was killed just weeks after a sheriff’s deputy shot and killed another Black man in Columbus, Casey Goodson. Goodson was walking into his grandmother’s home holding Subway sandwiches at the time, his family has said.