Terence Crutcher's preliminary autopsy results from the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's Office state the 40-year-old motorist's death was caused by a gunshot to the chest and was ruled a homicide.
Crutcher was shot and killed last Friday by Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby after authorities responded to his vehicle being spotted in the middle of the road in Tulsa. The shooting death of the unarmed motorist sparked nationwide condemnation and has led to a manslaughter charge against Shelby.
Officers who arrived on the scene said Crutcher was acting erratically and refused to follow commands, wrote KFOR-TV. Shelby had asked Crutcher, according to an affidavit, if the vehicle in the middle of the road was his and if it was not working.
"He was mumbling to himself and would not answer any of Officer Shelby’s questions," stated the affidavit, per KFOR-TV. "Mr. Crutcher kept putting his hands in his pockets and Officer Shelby kept telling him to show his hands. At that point, Mr. Crutcher began walking towards the abandoned vehicle with his hands held up and was not responding to any of Officer Shelby's commands to stop."
Police dashboard camera video showed Crutcher walking away toward his vehicle with his hands up. He was shot shortly after that and was pronounced dead at a Tulsa hospital.
The autopsy report's statement saying Crutcher's death is a homicide only means it was caused by someone else. "Autopsy reports do not imply wrongdoing or criminal intent," said KFOR-TV.
Police said they found a small vial of PCP inside the vehicle, Tulsa World reported. Authorities are awaiting toxicology report to determine if Crutcher had any drug in his system.
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler released a probable cause affidavit from the Tulsa Police Department, which notes that the first backup officer told Shelby that he had his Taser ready to use, reported the Tulsa World.
"Shelby reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation from a confrontation with Mr. Crutcher, who was not responding to verbal commands and was walking away from her with his hands held up, becoming emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted," the affidavit says, according to the newspaper.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.