Warning: The video and descriptions of events therein are graphic and tragic; discretion advised.
On Friday, February 18, the Jonesboro Police Department released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting incident from February 9 that saw an officer wounded and a suspect killed.
The video shows Officer Corey Obregon approaching Jayden Prunty, 22, in the 200-block of Spruce Street. Obregon begins by telling Prunty that he was working drug interdiction. Prunty does not want to stop and talk to the officer and walks away. The officer tells him he can smell marijuana, which means he has probable cause to stop the 22-year-old. As Prunty begins to flee, a struggle ensues. Prunty refuses to comply and give up his hands. The officer warns Prunty that if he has a gun in his hand, it is not going to end well for him.
“I know. I know it’s not,” replies Prunty.
With the two both on the ground struggling, the body-worn cameras microphone is blocked from getting clear sound of the first gunshot. At 2:47 (of the edited video), Obregon cries out in pain from being shot and rolls onto his side, off of the suspect. Prunty rolls onto his side, leaving his back facing Obregon. At 2:53, Obregon fires a shot that appears to miss. At 2:54, he fires a second shot that hits Prunty in the back of the head.
In total, six seconds pass between the moment Obregon is shot and when Prunty is shot.
The officer notifies dispatch of shots fired. He tells the dispatcher he took one to the leg. The officer retrieves a tourniquet and applies it as he waits for back-up.
JPD released a narrated version of the video, initially. Later on, police released an unedited video of the shooting incident.
The nature of the video meant emotions were charged in the comments responding to the release. Prunty’s mother, Sherry Prunty, told Region 8 News she was devastated to see video of her son being killed posted to social media. The one aspect that could be agreed upon was that what happened was a tragedy.
Arkansas State Police is handling the investigation to determine if deadly force was justified. Once complete, their file will be turned over to the prosecutor to make a final decision on charges.