Video released of Phoenix police shooting armed Black man holding baby

The baby's mother said Paul Bolden was typically a caring father, but he'd been awake for four days, using drugs.

The Phoenix Police Department has released a video of their interaction with an infant-holding Paul Bolden on Jan. 9, an incident that ended in the man’s death. 

The video is a compilation of 911 calls and body camera footage that begins with a hotel employee telling a dispatcher that a couple is fighting in their parking lot. It also includes surveillance video showing Bolden, 37, knocking a woman down and snatching a baby out of her arms. 

In body camera footage from Phoenix police, Paul Bolden does not comply with their commands. Another police unit arrives, and it is reported that Bolden was then shot in the head with a rifle. (PPD)

Another 911 call plays from the child’s mother, Priscilla Chavez, who says her boyfriend took her baby and that he’s armed. “He’s trying to shoot,” she says. “He’s gonna kill people.”

In another 911 call, a person reports that the man is holding a gun and has a baby in his arms. 

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When officers from the PPD arrive, Bolden is firing the weapon and does not comply with their commands to put the gun and the baby down. Another police unit arrives, and it is reported that Bolden was then shot in the head with a rifle. 

Body camera footage shows officers rush toward Bolden’s motionless body to safely retrieve the crying infant. “Hi buddy, hey buddy, are you okay?” said the officer to the little boy, according to a local report. 

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No one else was hurt in the incident, but bullets from Bolden’s gun hit nearby buildings. 

Chavez told a local news station he was typically a caring father. She said he’d been using drugs and had been awake for four days at the time of the shooting. 

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This is the first fatal police shooting in Phoenix in 2021. A man was shot and killed in late December in a domestic dispute just one day after an armed woman was shot and killed.

The officer involved in Bolden’s shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. 

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