Lynchburg police show media body cam video of fatal police-involved shooting

Chief Raul Diaz broke down 15-second slow-motion video of shooting

LYNCHBURG, Va. – On Nov. 5, 2017, Lynchburg police were called to 2919 Triangle Place for a woman who was having a psychotic episode and was suicidal. When police arrived, Pamela Webber had locked herself in a room. When police opened the door, the 54-year-old came lunging toward them with a knife. WSLS was not allowed to record the 911 call from that night or the body cam video. In a 15-second, clip Chief Raul Diaz broke down the video for the media in slow motion before Webber was shot.

There were three officers involved. One launched a sponge baton like this one at Webber, while she kept coming toward them with a knife. Almost simultaneously, the second officer discharged a taser; the prongs did not attach to Webber and had no effect. Then finally, the last officer fired three shots, one of which hit Webber in the chest and killed her.

Phill Kline, a law professor at Liberty University and a former prosecutor, didn't watch the video but did read the report.

"These officers took every precaution that they could under these circumstances to try to dial down the threat and provide appropriate reaction to a woman who was mentally unstable," Kline said.

The officers spent three hours negotiating with Webber, and according to the Commonwealth attorney's report, she was screaming at them, "I'm not coming out, come get me," "I'm a sociopath. Sociopaths don't hurt themselves; they hurt others," and "I want the violence."

Chief Diaz said his officers receive mental health training.

"Quite a few of our officers already have Crisis Intervention Training, but all of our officers, when they come through the academy, receive mental health training," Diaz said.

Lynchburg police said releasing body cam footage is at the discretion of the police chief.