Posted By Tom Plahutnik, Web Editor/Producer - email
Police at the scene on July 1.
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -
Witnesses of the Milton Hall shooting are speaking out and one man told WNEM TV5's Kristin Moore what he hopes will be changed after the incident.
Anthony Baber was driving by the Riverview Plaza on Sunday, July 1 when he saw a group of police officers in the parking lot with their guns drawn. That's when he stopped to see what was going on.
"The K-9 officer had the dog occupying Milton," said Baber. "Two officers approached from his left side and they had their weapons drawn and at that time I thought they were going to tase him."
But that's not what happened. Baber said minutes later, officers fired 46 shots at Hall, a homeless man who had a knife and a mental illness. Ten of the 46 rounds struck Hall.
Another witness, Ajhani Owusu, was out shopping with her 7-year-old son when Hall was shot. "I saw 13 officers lined up on the sidewalk area," said Owusu. "They had guns drawn and I was saying to myself, 'Oh my God what's going on.'"
So far Owusu has not been interviewed although local and federal agencies are investigating the shooting. Her son is in counseling now and she hopes he can recover from what he witnessed that day.
"If this is procedure, then we need to look at changing our procedure, because we don't want this type of incident to ever happen again here in the city of Saginaw," said Baber.
Citizens have been upset with the prosecutor's decision not to release any information about the shooting until his investigation is complete. This week, Baber said his testimony became part of that investigation.
"I was first interviewed by the [Michigan] State Police shortly after the incident happened," said Baber. "I've also been interviewed by Internal Affairs through the Saginaw Police Department. This was my first contact with the prosecuting attorney's office, Mike Thomas."
Baber says one good thing has come from this ordeal and that is the community has come together. They've formed groups, held rallies demanding answers into whether or not the officer's actions were justified.
"It's not that we want any type of retaliation or anything, we just want justice to be served," said Baber.
WNEM TV5 has video from the moment Hall was gunned down – click on the player above or the link in the sidebar to watch it – WARNING, the video is graphic.
Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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