Chandler Police officer dragged alongside moving car kills suspect during carjacking investigation

A Chandler Police officer was dragged alongside a moving vehicle when he shot and killed 32-year-old Kevin Smallman during a carjacking investigation, bodycam footage released Monday shows.

The video briefing comes nearly six months after the January 27th shooting. 

Phoenix Police detectives requested help from Chandler Police in apprehending a white Toyota Prius that was believed to be stolen, according to the briefing.

On January 26, the day before the shooting, Chandler police Officer Jonathan Castlegrante attempted to stop the Prius but the driver fled to an unknown location, police said.

Castlegrante located the vehicle the following day at a Hampton Inn near Chandler Boulevard and 56th Street. 

He observed two people walk away from the Prius and into the hotel, later identified as Kevin Smallman and Krystal Ehrlich. He apprehended them near the building’s elevators, police said.

Smallman tells the officer he doesn’t have any weapons on him and denies driving the Prius, claiming he and Ehrlich had walked to the hotel where a friend was staying, footage shows.

He stands in a possible attempt to leave.

“You’re detained. You can’t leave,” says Castlegrante.

At one point, Smallman stands and walks into an elevator before Castlegrante pulls him out, yelling at him to sit down, video shows.

Smallman then runs down the hallway with Castlegrante chasing after him.

Police said Smallman entered the Prius, and Castlegrante attempted to pull him from the driver’s seat.

During the struggle, Castlegrante was pinned between Smallman and the driver’s seat with his legs sticking out of the vehicle, according to the briefing. Ehrlich had also entered the Prius behind the driver’s seat.

Smallman started the car, driving 400 feet and up to 40 mph while Castlegrante’s legs were hanging out, police said.

Only hands and glimpses of the dashboard lights can be seen on video, as Castlegrante warns Smallman to stop the car, yelling, “You’re going to get shot” and “I’m going to shoot you”.

He then opens fire on Smallman, sending the car crashing against a wall on Southgate Drive, according to Chandler police. 

The department said all three people in the car were taken to a hospital, where Smallman was pronounced dead.