Newly released police dashcam footage showed the moment a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper killed a man during a traffic stop.
The traffic stoppage occurred on May 30 around 4:37 p.m. in Chatham County. During the stop, a man, identified as Mark Anthony Diaz, 21, of Staley, North Carolina, allegedly exited the vehicle with a handgun, prompting Private Rodney Cook to shoot him. Diaz was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a report by local news station Fox 8.
The video footage that was released was from Cook’s dash cam, according to Fox 8. The footage was released at the request of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
According to the report, Cook saw a white Ford pickup truck on US 64 in Siler City traveling in the opposite direction with the driver and passenger allegedly not wearing a seatbelt.
After turning around and catching up with the vehicle, Cook confronted the driver and passenger once they came to a stop.
In the video, Cook can be seen approaching the car window and explaining that the car was stopped because none of the people in the car were wearing seat belts.
He also asked for identification, which the two individuals said they did not have on them. Cook then asked if there were any illegal substances in the truck and asked the driver and passenger to get out of the vehicle.
At this point, Diaz can be seen producing a gun. Cook then attempted to jam the gun and retreat to his squad car.
Diaz extended the gun out the window while pointing it in the soldier’s direction. As Diaz exits the car, Cook fires once, hitting Diaz.
The soldier returns to his car to call for reinforcements and after removing the gun from Diaz’s hand, calls for reinforcements to provide assistance.
Diaz was carried off the scene and later pronounced dead.
Cook has since been placed on administrative duty pending an internal investigation into the shooting. It’s agency protocol for any soldier involved in a shootout.
Newsweek contacted the North Carolina Department of Public Safety for comment.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper recently said more needs to be done to reduce gun violence in the state. During a speech on June 3, he proclaimed it Gun Violence Awareness Day.
“We cannot forget these tragedies when they fade from the news,” he said. “I have taken executive action to help North Carolina, but we can do more.” It is high time for common sense reforms that need to take place at the congressional and legislative levels, tougher background checks, red laws, bans on assault weapons and interventions against communal violence so that we can prevent these horrific events.”