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Videos: Amid riots, bodycam shows PA cop fatally shoot charging knife-wielding suspect in self-defense

Body camera video shows the moment a man wielding a knife is shot by a police officer in Pennsylvania. (Lancaster City Police Department video screenshot/Released)
September 14, 2020

A police officer in Lancaster, Penn. fatally shot a suspect who charged him with a knife in hand on Sunday. The shooting has prompted protests and rioting in Lancaster.

According to a Lancaster City Police Department (LCPD) statement, an officer was responding to a caller who said her brother was being aggressive towards his mother and was trying to break into their house at around 4:13 p.m. on Sunday. LCPD released the officer’s body-camera footage shortly after the shooting incident. In the video, a responding officer can be seen attempting to speak with people inside a home before a suspect, identified as 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz, is seen rushing out the door with a long knife before the officer draws his weapon and fires several shots.

In the video, the suspect, identified as Munoz, rushes at the LCPD officer, who tries to flee before turning and shooting Munoz.

Munoz did not survive his wound and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The LCPD officer was one of several sent to respond to the call but was the first officer on the scene and the only officer present when he shot Munoz. The entire encounter was reportedly recorded on his body camera footage. Additional officers arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting incident.

According to WGAL the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on leave and the incident is being investigated to determine whether the use of force in the shooting incident was justified. An investigation of such a shooting incident is a standard protocol, according to WGAL.

WGAL reported people gathered at the scene of the shooting in protest. During the demonstrations, people started smashing the windows of some police vehicles gathered at the scene.

Demonstrators later marched towards the Lancaster police station, where the demonstrations reportedly continued to escalate with violence and destruction.

“Protesters break windows of the police station in #Lancaster, #Pennsylvania #lancasterriot.”

On Monday morning, LCPD tweeted, “Arrests made related to arson/riot Lancaster Bureau of Police station 9/14/2020.”

In an attached statement, LCPD reported they had arrested eight people during the arrest, including four for arson.

Barry Jones, 30, was charged with arson, vandalism and rioting, along with trespassing, disorderly conduct and blocking roads.

Frank Gaston, 43, was also charged with arson, vandalism and rioting along with trespassing, disorderly conduct and blocking roads. He was on probation at the time of his arrest.

Yoshua Dwayne Montague, 23, was also charged with arson and a felony charge of possessing a firearm not to be carried without a license. He also faces charges for vandalism, rioting, disorderly conduct, trespassing and blocking roads.

Matthew Modderman, 31, was charged with arson, vandalism and rioting, along with trespassing, disorderly conduct and blocking roads.

On Sunday night, District Attorney Heather Adams said, “A police-involved shooting has significant impact on a community, as we are seeing with the large number of individuals gathering in the streets, however, I am asking that all reaction be tempered as the investigation is ongoing.”

On Monday, the Lancaster District Attorney’s office tweeted criticism of the riotous behavior. “‘Such lawless conduct only takes away from those working with the community to address issues worthy of discussion. Make no mistake, those who cannot peacefully protest and instead resort to violence will be prosecuted and held fully accountable.”