Video released of deputy shooting Fountain Hills terrorism suspect
PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office released body camera video Thursday that shows a deputy shooting a knife-wielding assailant who’d told a 911 operator his allegiance was pledged to a terrorist group.
The MCSO also released audio of a 911 call Ismail Hamed made to lure the deputy to a Fountain Hills substation Jan. 7.
The material was made public after a judge ruled Tuesday that it must be released.
Several media organizations had challenged the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office’s efforts to seal a probable-cause statement, a police report and the audio and video of the shooting.
“Everything as directed by the courts will be released as soon as possible,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said at a Thursday press conference.
Hamed, 18, has pleaded not guilty to two terrorism-related charges and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Penzone said the department’s reluctance to release the material wasn’t a result of the terrorism angle.
In the 911 call, Hamed, speaking calmly, said he wanted to see an officer “to do something in protest for people suffering in Palestine and the Middle East.”
He also said he owed his allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the terrorist organization better known as ISIS.
When asked if he had any weapons, Hamed told the operator he had some rocks and a knife, although he didn’t expressly say he had violent intentions.
A deputy who was at the substation went to his vehicle to review the call and was approached by Hamed.
The video shows Hamed throwing rocks after the deputy starts talking to him. After backing away briefly, Hamed starts moving closer while brandishing the knife.
The deputy tells Hamed multiple times to drop the knife or he’ll shoot, but Hamed keeps advancing until two shots are fired and he falls to the ground.
At a Jan. 17 press conference, Penzone said investigators believed Hamed was a homegrown violent extremist acting alone and had been in the “process of what we would describe as radicalizing.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.