Second Investigation Ongoing in Officer Involved Shooting
The first of two investigations into Gionson's use of deadly force is now over.
ANCHORAGE - Not at fault: The state Office of Special Prosecutions cleared Anchorage Police Officer Boaz Gionson, 26, in the Mountain View shooting of Shane Tasi earlier this month.
The first of two investigations into Gionson's use of deadly force is now over. Anchorage police said there's been a lot of misinformation about the case, and subsequently released surveillance footage of the incident taken from surrounding buildings. It has been edited by the Anchorage Police Department and includes audio from a 911 call.
It all started at 9:25 PM Saturday night, June 9. Police said it began when an intoxicated Tasi, 26, was driving with his wife Jean in the Mountain View area. Police said Tasi fell out of the vehicle and Jean drove home, so Tasi had to walk back.
That's when dispatchers got two calls that Tasi was involved in two confrontations: one with vehicles and the other an attack on someone's dog. Officers were dispatched to the area when the third 911 call came in.
Police said photo evidence showed exactly what was going on inside the Tasi home that night. They said an overturned fridge and couch were just some of the signs of a disturbance, and the surveillance footage released Wednesday shows the 911 caller running toward Tasi's apartment while the dispatcher tells him and others to go home because officers are on their way.
The men flagged down Gionson, the first officer to arrive on the scene. As Gionson spoke with residents, Tasi came out of the apartment building swinging what police said was a 39-inch broken broom handle. Police said Gionson told Tasi to stop approaching three times. But, they said, Tasi refused.
That's when Gionson opened fire and shot three times.
“From the time Mr. Tasi exits the door to the time this first shot is fired is six seconds from start to finish,” said APD Chief Mark Mew. “The officer let him get within the striking distance before he fired.”
Phillip Weidner, who is representing the Tasi family, said it was an inappropriate use of deadly force that destroyed a family.
“She (Jean) was changing her baby and she heard the shots and she went outside and saw her husband dying, and tried to go to him and they would not let her go to him,” Weidner said. “They are horrified that their husband and father was shot down in front of his own apartment.”
Gionson has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Office of Special Prosecutions, but still needs to be cleared by the police department itself. Meanwhile, Tasi's family wants to see the raw, unedited footage and is considering a lawsuit against the municipality.
“I think the community should focus on the officer's actions, the actions of Mr. Tasi, and let the video speak for itself,” said APD union president Derek Hsieh. Police said Tasi was only seven feet away from Gionson when he was shot: They say Gionson had four seconds to react when he realized Tasi was a threat.
Police are also waiting for toxicology results to determine whether Tasi was drunk or high. CBS 11 News has also requested the raw, unedited footage of what happened that night.