GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Newly released bodycam footage from the night a Grand Rapids police officer accidently fired his gun shows he immediately said it was him and that he had tripped.
Officer Gregory Bauer faces a misdemeanor charge of careless discharge of a firearm causing property damage less than $50. The maximum penalty for the misdemeanor is 90 days in jail and a fine of $100.
On Dec. 9, officers with the Grand Rapids Police Department spotted a vehicle they believed to be stolen. The driver pulled off near Cass Avenue and Sycamore Street SE and went inside a home. Officers set up a perimeter, and once the driver went back outside they surrounded him.
While they were moving in on the driver, Bauer fired his gun. No one was injured, but it did damage a home.
GRPD says the shooting was accidental. The department has launched an Internal Affairs investigation. Results of the investigation are expected in the next two weeks.
Bodycam obtained by News 8 on Thursday shows the moments after the shooting.
“On the ground!” an officer is heard yelling at the man they were taken into custody, before Bauer is heard saying, “That was me! That was me.”
“Why did you shoot, sir?” the driver is heard saying off camera.
“I tripped,” Bauer replied.
Bauer and another officer started to take the man into custody, before another officer takes over for Bauer.
“F–k, f–k, f–k,” Bauer said.
“You OK?” another officer asked.
“Yup,” Bauer said.
The man they had surrounded, 30-year-old Daevionne Smith, told the officers two other people were in the car — which later turned out to not be the stolen.
Bauer communicated with the officers about the two in the car, before he put one of them in handcuffs and patted him down for weapons.
The man went back and forth with another officer, and asked why he’s being arrested.
Bauer brought him over to a police cruiser and again patted him down for weapons before he put him in the back of the cruiser, which is where the footage ends.
A second 50-second clip from before the shooting shows Bauer and another officer in a cruiser responding to the scene.
Smith later told News 8 he feared for his life.
“I thought my life was ending,” Smith told News 8.
He said he hurt his arm while falling to the ground, and that the incident was especially traumatic because his cousin, Breonna Taylor, was shot and killed by Louisville police in Kentucky in March of 2020.
Smith is considering a lawsuit against the department over the incident.