The Richmond Police Department Tuesday released a video of a deadly shooting involving an off-duty police officer.
The shooting occurred last November over what witnesses say started as an argument over a parking spot at a gas station in the city of Vallejo and ended with an officer pulling out his gun and shooting 38-year-old Eric Reason.
However, Sgt. Virgil Thomas' attorney said Reason got angry when he honked his horn at him while pulling into a parking spot. Reason got out of the car to confront the officer, who tried to deescalate the situation, but Reason pulled out a gun.
Richmond's police association previously said it believes the officer did nothing wrong.
"I think the video speaks for itself," said Benjamin Therriault from the Richmond Police Officer’s Association. "I think Sgt. Thomas was out in a position where he was forced to protect himself and the public."
The video shows Reason box in another car with his van and get into a heated confrontation with Thomas in the parking lot. Reason then pops his hood and pulls out a gun. That's when Thomas takes out his pistol and seconds later, begins firing at Reason as he runs away.
"It’s an outrageous shooting," said civil rights attorney John Burris. "A man’s dead who should not be dead. The guy’s running away, clearly running away, and you continue to shoot after he’s gone when whatever the danger there was is gone."
Therriault however, said he believes Reason running away would "reasonably be understood to be an attempt to position himself to gain tactical advantage to try to fire at Sgt. Thomas."
Burris said seeing the video is incredibly painful for the family and they think Thomas should face criminal charges.
"Prosecute him, period," Burris said.
Vallejo police said the video was released because they just completed their investigation.