Authorities in Boston released surveillance video Monday of last week's fatal police shooting of terror suspect Usaamah Rahim.
The blurry video, taken from a Burger King surveillance camera, shows a man police say is Rahim walking through a CVS parking lot toward a bus stop when he is approached by five or six officers. He then falls to the ground after apparently being shot by police. Just before the shooting, a school bus can be seen driving by in the background.
Police said five FBI officers and one Boston police officer were involved in the incident. None were wearing uniforms.
U.S. & World
"This guy had a malicious intent," Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said Monday. "I think we averted a serious tragedy that day."
Rahim was fatally shot around 7 a.m. on June 2 after investigators said he refused to drop a military-style knife as they sought to question him about "terrorist-related information." Boston's Joint Terrorism Task Force says it had Rahim under 24-hour surveillance and feared an attack could be imminent.
The FBI says Rahim had ordered three large knives on Amazon.com. Rahim's nephew, David Wright, was arrested last week on a charge of conspiracy with intent to obstruct a federal investigation.
Asked Monday if the officers could have used non-lethal force instead of fatally shooting Rahim, Evans said he does not believe that was an option.
"We approached this individual just to question him," he said. "No one could have seen what unraveled at that point. He had a large military knife. Put that in your mind and knowing the prior intent, I don't think we could have.
"It really came about real quick," Evans added. "I think he was intent on getting a 'boy in blue.' I don't think at this point he was going to go down very easy. There were multiple, multiple requests for him to put down that weapon. He was given every chance... You can second guess this, but this unraveled so quickly. I believe my officers reacted responsibly. He was intent on taking out somebody and it was either us or them."
He also pointed out that Boston Police do not carry Tasers.
Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said one of the officers "did exercise restraint" when he saw the school bus in the background, waiting until the vehicle was clear of the scene before firing his weapon.
Necn showed the video to several residents, many of whom thought the video offered clarity in a potentially volatile situation.
"If a suspected terrorist is planning on killing cops and beheading people is coming at you with a knife, you gotta take him out," West Roxbury resident John Puccia said.
"When I seen his brother posting that on Facebook, I believe that that's a lie. On the video, it doesn't show that he was on his cell phone or that they shot him in the back or anything," Roslindale resident Say Vance said.
However, Rahim's family released a statement saying in part: "The video reveals part of the story, but not the entire story. The video shows that Mr. Rahim was shot by law enforcement, but there is no visual evidence of Mr. Rahim wielding a knife."
"I think they clearly saw the knife," Evans said earlier Monday. "You have five officers here clearly retreating, a good 15-20 yars and they're not doing that unless there's a real, live threat being posed."