Body camera

A Cullman County, Alabama Sheriff's Deputy was wearing a newly-purchased body camera, similar to the one modeled here, when he shot and killed a man armed with a 3-foot-sword. Police say audio and video of the incident will show that the shooting was “100 percent” justified.

A Holly Pond, Alabama man who was shot and killed by deputies Saturday was reportedly armed with a three-foot sword and threatening to kill everyone at a residence.

A Cullman County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Darren Robert Kindgren, a 51-year-old white male, at his home after authorities say he became unstable following a medical assistance call. Emergency medical services were called to the subdivision residence, and sheriff’s reports note Kindgren had been cutting his arms and was bleeding.

Chief Deputy Max Bartlett said the EMS responders called two deputies to the scene to help subdue Kindgren after he became erratic. The man reportedly broke free from the EMS workers outside the home and ran back inside.

When he returned moments later, authorities say he was brandishing a three-foot sword and threatening to “kill everyone out [t]here.” Bartlett said Kindgren advanced several yards toward the deputies, while the officers issued commands telling him to stop and put down the weapon.

When Kindgren continued to approach the deputies, Bartlett said the officers attempted to subdue him with non-lethal force using a Taser. The shot either partially missed or failed to stop him upon impact.

“Officers attempted to calm him and repeatedly warned him to stop,” Bartlett said. “He continued to advance, so once he was in close proximity one of the officers attempted to deploy a Taser to stop his advancement. We don’t know at this point whether he took a hit, or missed, but it failed to stop him.”

At that point, Bartlett said, one of the deputies fired approximately four shots in rapid succession at Kindgren, killing him.

An autopsy is underway to determine exactly how many bullets made contact. Both deputies were armed with department-issued Glock .45 caliber handguns, while one officer was also equipped with a Taser.

The two deputies, whose names have not been released, have been placed on paid administrative leave to allow the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) to look into the shooting, which Bartlett said is standard protocol.

The results of that investigation will likely be reviewed by the district attorney’s office and a grand jury. Bartlett said the names of the deputies involved will likely be released in the coming days.

Bartlett also confirmed both deputies were wearing newly-purchased body cameras, which recorded the entire incident with video and audio. Bartlett said he has seen the footage, and believes the shooting was “100 percent” justified. That footage will also be used as evidence in the investigation.

Trent Moore writes for the Cullman Times.

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