BATTLE CREEK, MI – The Battle Creek Police Department released to the media a compilation of officer dashboard camera videos that recorded different angles of the traffic stop and shooting early Tuesday morning.
Police also identified the officers and suspects involved in the incident.
Jacquann Smith, 21, of Jackson, drove the vehicle. He was arraigned on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon in an automobile. Daevion Wright, 18, of Jackson, was the vehicle’s passenger. He was arraigned on charges of carrying a concealed weapon in an automobile, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony.
Officer Ryan O’Connell initiated the traffic stop that night, and is seen in the video speaking with Smith. Officer Andrew Frantz was the second officer to arrive, and spoke to Wright off-camera.
Both officers remain on paid administrative leave while BCPD completes an internal investigation, and Michigan State Police completes an investigation of the shooting. These are standard procedures.
At 12:13 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, O’Connell stopped the vehicle Smith was driving for numerous traffic violations at Columbia Avenue and LaVista Boulevard. Those included erratic driving, stopping and backing up in the middle of the road, and an illegal turn. As O’Connell spoke to Smith outside the vehicle, Frantz arrived and approached the passenger side, to speak to Wright.
Frantz observed a gun in Wright’s waistband, and commanded him to put his hands up. Wright initially followed Frantz’s commands, and Frantz secured the gun. However, then Wright began to reach under the seat.
In the video, O’Connell speaks calmly with Smith. Frantz indicates to O’Connell to handcuff Smith as a precaution, when he sees the first gun. As Wright reached down, Frantz begins yelling for Wright not to move, and O’Connell moves Smith further from the scene and draws his own gun.
Frantz shot his weapon, striking Wright twice. As is typical in that type of incident, video viewers see numerous officers at the scene for support, including some from other agencies, like the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Police recovered both guns from the incident – a 25 caliber and a 9mm, both fully loaded.
“We are releasing the video in hopes of clarifying the events of that night,” said Police Chief Jim Blocker. “At the same time, we cannot get too far in front of the legal process, to which all parties are entitled.”
Because of those legal proceedings, police will not release any further information or comment further on the incident at this time.