News and Commentary

WATCH: Stunning Body Cam Footage Shows Officer’s Life-Threatening Interaction With Criminal

On January 1, 2016, Police Officer Quincy Smith “responded to a suspicious persons call at the Charles Party Shop” in Estill, South Carolina, reports the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Smith was wearing glasses embedded with a camera; the footage was released Thursday.

When a woman at the shop tells Smith that “a man wearing camouflage and a red bandana tried snatching groceries from customers,” the officer leaves the store, gets in his vehicle, and pulls up behind a man matching the clerk’s description a few hundred yards away from the alleged incident.

The man has since been identified as Malcolm Antwan Orr.

Smith exits his vehicle, and calls to Orr: “Come here, man. Come here for a second.” Orr simply looks back, and begins to walk away.

Smith calls again: “Come here. You better stop. Come here.” Orr continues walking, and begins to pick up the pace just slightly. Getting closer to the suspect, Smith starts to yell: “Stop. Stop! Take your hands out your pocket! If you don’t stop, I’m gonna tase you. I’m not playing with you. Take your hand out your pocket!”

Orr, with his hand still inside his jacket pocket, keeps walking.

When Smith issues a final demand for Orr to take his hand out of his pocket, he does so, revealing a gun. Orr fires eight shots at Smith in quick succession.

“Shots fired!” Smith can be heard yelling as he hits the ground and begins to run to his patrol car. Orr continues to fire even as the officer bolts for cover. Smith sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the arm, torso, and neck.

Upon reaching his car, Smith radios for help. “Dispatch, I’m hit! Dispatch, Echo 7, I’m hit!” With a labored breath in-between words, Smith utters: “Dispatch … help.” Several seconds later, blood visible on the interior of the police car, as well as on his right hand, Officer Smith reports that his “arms are broken,” adding: “Help me, please.”

In a heartbreaking moment, Smith tells the operator on the other end of the radio: “Dispatch, please tell my family I love them.”

A bystander appears at the scene, and does what he can to help Smith and keep him calm. Two women who appear to know Smith personally approach as well.

Panicked, one woman asks if Smith knows who shot him. Another woman prays: “In the name of Jesus, you shall live. In the name of Jesus, you will not die!”

Soon, sirens can be heard, an ambulance arrives, and Officer Quincy Smith is taken to the hospital.

He survived.

The incredible footage is difficult to watch, but it should be seen. In a time when police officers are regularly vilified for the actions of a few, videos like this remind us that the great majority of law enforcement officers risk their lives every day so that we can live safely.

Fortunately, in large part because of the footage taken by Smith’s camera, Malcolm Antwan Orr was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in prison for attempted murder and “possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.”