CHICAGO (CBS) — Body cam video is giving a close-up look at what a University of Chicago Police officer saw moments before he shot and wounded a suspect who was armed with a metal pipe.

CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports the video also shows how special training can help de-escalate certain situations.

As soon as a University of Chicago Police officer encountered 21-year-old student Charles Thomas, who was armed with a metal pipe, the officer started backing away from him.

It’s just one deescalation technique officers can use when responding to calls to someone in crisis.

“We teach officers how to slow down, to identify red flags of crisis,” says Alexa James of the National Alliance On Mental Illness-Chicago who says one tactic is to turn off sirens when approaching someone.

The first officer also radioed that the suspect might be dealing with mental health issues.

“He was setting the tone for his colleagues,” says James.

The officer fired one shot hitting the suspect in the shoulder.

Thomas remains hospitalized and charged with felony aggravated assault with a weapon and felony criminal damage to property.

 

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