Video released of deadly officer-involved shooting in Largo

Image 1 of 2

New video reveals the moments a man was shot and killed by a Largo police officer. 

The shooting happened at a gas station last month. Officials say the officer pulled the trigger because he was in fear for his life. 

But the suspect's loved ones say the video only raises more questions in the case.

The security camera footage is grainy and there is no sound. The two clips released by the Largo Police Department are the only videos of the March 23 officer-involved shooting.          

Linus Phillip, 30, was hit with four bullets and died. Gunfire the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office says was legal and justified.

"It's hard to grieve when you angry,” said Martha Hicks, Phillip’s mother. “I'm so mad, I’m so angry that they killed my baby."

Phillip's loved ones have been calling for investigators to release the security video since the incident, saying there's been conflicting accounts and a lack of transparency from police.           

However, now that they've seen the clips, the mother of Phillip's children tells me it's only raising more questions. The family's lawyer adding he hoped the nearly six minutes of footage would show more to clear up what exactly happened.  He wants to have the tapes enhanced.           

It's hard to see, but the two cameras capture the entire confrontation. Investigators say Officer Matthew Steiner and Officer Prentice Ables followed Phillip to the gas station to question him about the tinted windows on his rental car when they smelled marijuana.

"When Officer Steiner stated that he was going to search him based on the smell of marijuana, that's when Mr. Phillip jumped into the vehicle and attempted to flee," Lt. Randall Chaney with Largo Police said.

In the report, the State Attorney's Office writes, "As the vehicle was about to accelerate in reverse, Officer Steiner held onto the open door and pulled out his firearm..."          

We’re told Steiner was halfway in the car as it quickly drove backward, slamming into concrete barriers near the pumps.

"It appears that he might have been falling out of the car at the time he fired four rounds from within the car, he was actually in the car with the suspect," said Chaney.

Witnesses told the State Attorney's Office they heard gunshots after hearing the car accelerate.          

In the video, you can see someone get up off the ground just a few seconds after the car started moving.

"So far, what we're finding is that everything he did was within policy and training," Chaney said.

Largo Police are still conducting a criminal investigation into the shooting.