(WHO/NBC News) Newly released video shows what could have been a deadly encounter between a Des Moines, Iowa police officer and a young man brandishing a fake gun.
On September 3, 2018, Des Moines police fielded calls that could put anyone on high alert.
“We had several people give us a call that they saw a young man walking the street and he was armed with a handgun,” said Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek.
Police officer Andrew Weispfenning quickly responded at 40th and Douglass in the Beaverdale neighborhood.
On his body camera video you can hear Officer Weispfenning yell, “Drop it, drop it,” as he approaches the young black male holding the gun at his side.
“From our perspective, you cannot tell if that’s a real gun or a fake gun and that can lead to some very deadly consequences,” Parizek said.
From the dash-cam video, the juvenile appears to point the gun directly at officer Weispfenning.
“It was one thing to see the gun in his hand but it was another thing to see him actually extend that out at the officer,” said Parizek.
In the video, Weispfenning never fires his weapon. He leaves his vehicle and the juvenile places the gun on the ground. It isn’t until moments later that the officer learns the gun was a replica and radios into dispatch the gun is a toy.
“When you look at the gun later it looked about as real as the one on my hip,” said Parizek.
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