SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Nearly a year after his death, Sacramento police released hundreds of pages of its investigation into the police killing of Stephon Clark. Inside the reports are some intense recollections as the officer involved give their first-hand accounts of the incident, including the reaction from Clark’s grandmother as she discovers what actually happened in her backyard.
The transcripts lay out the heartbreaking timeline as Stephon Clark’s grandmother learns about the tragedy. Just hours after the shooting, police knock on her door for questioning. At this time, both parties are unaware of any personal connection. Clark’s grandmother first describes hearing the gunfire saying, “All of a sudden I heard shots like pow pow pow. I heard four of them,” she said, “I grabbed my granddaughter and laid on the floor.”
Police then ask her if she heard anyone trying to get in her house, to which she responds, “No, if somebody tried to get in our house, it’s my, uh, probably be my grandson.”
At this point, she still has no idea it is her grandson who is lying dead just feet away. Then, police tell her there is a crime scene in her backyard and that someone is deceased. She proceeds to ask, “Is they black? I hope it ain’t my grandson.” She then goes onto say, “Please don’t tell me it’s my grandson. Please don’t. No.”
The report states Clark’s grandmother then looks out the back window and sees Stephon.
“I can’t handle this. I lay – I seen my grandson layin’ out there,” said Clark’s grandmother. “He was just comin’ home and y’all was comin’ through the back. He don’t have no gun. He don’t carry no gun. Oh, my god. He got two children.”
The newly released report also contains the two officers statements, who both give similar accounts of the tense minutes before they shot Clark. One of the officers describes seeing something in Clark’s hands saying, “I really felt like that was a gun. His position like I said was something I recognized as a firing position from all the training and firearms training that I have been through in the last nine years.”
The other officer stated he feared for his life.
“I thought he was already shooting at me. So I wanted to return fire to stop the threat.”
The report also includes DNA samples and fingerprints taken showing Clark was the suspect who had broken those car and house windows the night he was killed. It also contains statements from friends and ex-girlfriends of Clark who all say they never knew him to be a violent person and who say those actions were out of character.