TAMARAC. FLA. (WSVN) - Almost three years after deputies opened fire inside of a mental health facility and killed a patient, the family of the victim has released video of what led to the shooting.
The family of 30-year-old Jarvis Randall said they remain heartbroken and are asking for answers. Their attorney, Mario Pacella, said he has been fighting for more transparency from the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
“We have a young man whose life was cut too short,” Pacella said. “When we watch the video and review his medical records, we see no reason for him to have been harmed, let alone shot and killed.”
Surveillance video captured the moments before shots were fired by Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies in a psychiatric ward hallway of University Hospital and Medical Center in Tamarac.
Deputies claimed Randall was armed with some kind of edged glass weapon and was displaying “aggressive threatening behavior.”
“He’s in the hospital, a mental health hospital,” Pacella said. “The sheriff department is saying they’re contacting the police department because he is a risk, a threat to himself or others. Well, that’s what gets you in the mental hospital in the first place.”
Attorneys for the Randall family released an unedited 53-minute video of Randall’s fatal encounter with deputies that differs from the original police narrative on some points.
“When you watch the video, when the first shots of the bean bag gun are fired, he’s running away,” Pacella said. “He’s running away from the incident until he’s trapped and turns around and comes back. The psychiatric hospital should be taking care of his needs, and instead, we see them call the sheriff’s department to ask the sheriff’s department to handle his mental health needs. We believe the hospital and the sheriff’s department create this risk of the scenario that ultimately plays out.”
The first video released, however, was only the beginning of the process to answer unanswered questions, according to the attorneys.
“We want to be able to see the body cam footage with the audio, evaluate that,” Pacella said. “We want that to be transparent, so that the public has a chance to see that. He did not have to die. Mr. Randall did not have to die.”
The family has filed suit in Broward Circuit Court naming three of the officers who fired weapons, as well as Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony and the hospital where the shooting took place.
Sheriff Tony has since released a statement on the fatal shooting, which reads, in part:
“When BSO deputies arrived, they spent considerable time trying to de-escalate the situation by reasoning with the man, Jarvis Randall, and attempting to talk to him and calm him despite his repeated aggressive and threatening behavior. Unfortunately, those efforts to de-escalate did not work. Deputies further attempted to de-escalate the situation by using less lethal force but that did not stop Mr. Randall from charging at deputies with his weapon. Ultimately, to protect their lives and the lives of others inside the facility, deputies were forced to respond with deadly force.
“As is standard procedure in these cases, the deputies involved were placed on restricted assignment following the shooting and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement immediately began an investigation into the incident. The FDLE investigation was completed and turned over to the Broward State Attorney’s Office for review in June 2019, where the investigation remains. While the Broward State Attorney’s Office review proceeds, the BSO Internal Affairs investigation into the use of force is paused.
“Although this incident occurred during a previous administration, I want to assure this community that BSO has been as transparent as possible during this process. We released details of the shooting to the media and public within hours of the incident and have cooperated fully with the FDLE investigation; however, there are details that we are not allowed to publicly divulge in order to allow outside investigators to do their jobs and conduct a comprehensive review of this incident. Once those investigations are complete, BSO will conduct its own IA investigation and will make those findings public, once completed.”
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.