Protesters have taken to the streets of Lancaster City, Pennsylvania, after police shot and killed a 27-year-old man identified as Ricardo Munoz on Sunday.
According to the Lancaster Bureau of Police, officers responded to reports of an in-progress domestic disturbance at around 4:15 p.m. on the 300 block of Laurel Street. The caller, the suspect's sister, noted that Munoz had become aggressive towards their mother and was trying to break into her house.
When one of the officers arrived at the location about ten minutes later, he made contact with a woman, identified as a family member, at the front door of the residence. Moments later, Munoz exited the front door and started chasing the officer with a knife in his right hand, prompting the officer to fire several shots at Munoz, who falls to the ground. He later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bodycam Footage Shows Munoz Charged at Officer with Knife
The bureau also released footage from the body-worn camera showing Munoz charging out the front door and pursuing the officer while brandishing a knife over his head, forcing the officer to draw his firearm and fire at the suspect. (Warning: the following video is graphic. Viewer discretion is advised)
As is standard protocol with officer-involved shootings, The Lancaster County District Attorney's Office has initiated an investigation into the incident. "Whether or not the use of force was justified will be determined by the Lancaster County District Attorney upon the completion of the investigation and review of all available facts," the bureau said in its statement.
Munoz's Criminal History
Although the officer appears to have shot Munoz in self-defense, the shooting has prompted widespread protests and riots across the Pennsylvanian City against police brutality with protesters demanding justice for the man, whom they claim was murdered by a trigger-happy police officer.
However, Munoz has had an extensive history of violence. Last year, Lancaster Police
arrested Munoz after he stabbed four people, according to Local 21. Police officers were responding to reports of a fight when they learned that four people had been stabbed near the scene.
When officers arrived at the location, they found Munoz holding a knife to his own throat. Officers asked Munoz to drop the weapon but he refused and attempted to escape, jumping over the handrail towards the front of a nearby residence. He was eventually tased and taken into custody.
Munoz's four stabbing victims who were found inside the residence included a 16-year-old who suffered multiple stab wounds to his face, thigh, ankle, and torso. His other victims included a 22-year-old female, and two other male victims, both 26, all of whom suffered multiple injuries.
Munoz was awaiting criminal trial for four counts of aggravated assault in the first degree when he attacked the police officer in the shooting on Sunday. He had also been charged with stalking, harassment and criminal trespassing.