PHILADELPHIA (CBS)— Wilmington Police Department corporals involved in the 2015 fatal shooting of a paraplegic man will not face criminal charges, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division announced on Friday.
Investigators say the evidence does not indicate that the corporals willfully used excessive force when they shot 28-year-old Jeremy McDole on September 23, 2015.
Police responded to the area of Tulip and South Scott Streets for a report of an armed man in a wheelchair, who may have sustained self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
Corporals Thomas Silva, James MacColl, Thomas Lynch and Joseph Dellose all responded to the scene in an attempt to get McDole to show his hands and drop the gun he allegedly had in possession.
According to investigators, McDole refused to comply with their demands and instead rolled his wheelchair into the street and reached into his waistband.
In the Justice Department’s report, after future non-compliance, Corporal Dellose states that he observed the handle of a gun, so he fired a round at McDole from his shotgun.
Even after being fire upon, authorities say McDole continued moving his hands around his lap and waistband.
The Justice Department says McDole then reached into the right side of his waistband as if to grab something and began withdrawing his right hand, in which he held what the corporals believed to be a handgun. Silva, MacColl and Lynch each fired four shots at McDole from their service pistols.
McDole fell to the ground and later died.
A handgun was recovered on McDole’s waistband, investigators said.
Cell phone video of the shooting first obtained by CBS 3 shows the intense incident unfold.
“I watched a video they shot my son so much he fell out the wheelchair, he fell out the chair on the ground,”said McDole’s mom, Phyllis, shortly after the death of her son.“This is unjust. He was in a wheelchair paralyzed from the waist down. And this video is showing that he didn’t pull a weapon.”
Though video only shows parts of the police-involved shooting, the Justice Department says there’s insufficient evidence to disprove the corporals’ claims that they shot McDole in self-defense and in defense of nearby civilians and fellow officers.