(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today released animation that was intended to recreate, to the extent possible, the officer-involved shooting of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell on November 29, 2012. The animation is being released as part of an effort to provide the public and media with access to the investigative materials for this investigation that was led by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).
The following quotes can be attributed to Attorney General DeWine:
“The animation being released today was produced at the request of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to create a visual tool for investigators. It is not meant to be an exact reconstruction of what happened in the parking lot at Heritage Middle School, rather its purpose was to help investigators visualize the sequence of events based upon the officers’ statements.
“Members of the BCI investigative team interviewed the officers who discharged their weapons regarding their location, movements and shots fired. Aerial photographs of the scene were presented to those officers, with each officer indicating their own actions on the photograph. Those same interviewers then met with the animators, on multiple occasions, to attempt to reproduce those actions to the extent possible.
“The officers told our investigators that they did not perceive a pause in the shooting. However, (with the exclusion of Officer Diaz’s initial shots on the grass island) a waveform analysis on the audio recordings determined that the first wave of gunfire lasted approximately 8.5 seconds, followed by a 1.3 second pause. One additional shot was fired, followed by a 2.4 second pause. The final round of gunfire lasted 5.1 seconds. The animators created an artistic rendition based upon the known information, such as the number of shots fired by each officer, and included pauses. The placement or timing of individual shots is a marriage of the officers’ testimony and audio recordings by the animators.
“Another example where the animation is not an exact duplication of the event is the lighting background of the animation. The actual incident took place at 10:55 p.m. under nighttime conditions with limited lighting from parking lot lights. In order for our investigators to be able to see the animation and use it as a visual tool, the animation has a lighter background. In addition, while the animation is based on the officers’ statements, the officers involved have elected not to participate in verifying the animation.”
Below is a copy of the disclaimer that runs at the beginning of the animation video:
BCI Case # SI-18-12-82-1493
Notes Regarding the Animation:
The three attached animations, all created under contract with Visual Evidence of Valley View, OH, depict the same event, only saved in different file formats (.mov, .mp4 and .mpg).
The animation is a rendition of the final events of the November 29, 2012, Cleveland Police Department pursuit and subsequent shooting of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell. The animation begins at approximately 10:55 PM and shows the access drive and staff parking lot of the Heritage Middle School, 14410 Terrace Rd., East Cleveland, OH 44112.
The animation only depicts the officers who discharged their weapons; it does not include the other officers present. The animation was based upon the verbal statements provided by the involved officers during their interviews with the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) investigative team. It is not based upon any physical evidence or other independent sources. Shot sequencing was unable to be determined with any degree of certainty. Therefore, the individual shot sequencing in the animation is for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the actual timing and order of individual shots by officers. Further, the accuracy of the animation has not been validated by the involved officers subsequent to its creation.
The audio overlay for the animation utilized the Cleveland Police Department Channel 2 radio traffic, along with the audio from the Bratenahl Police Department dash cam video, with the two being synchronized to the best of the animator’s ability.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840