Man surrendering shot dead by Phoenix Police within seconds of opening front door with gun in hand

AHWATUKEE — A man who appeared to be surrendering as he walked outside his front door with a gun in his hand was shot dead by Phoenix Police, video released shows.

The 40-year-old man has since been identified as Ryan Whitaker.

The May 21 incident started with a 911 call just after 10:15pm reporting a domestic dispute involving a woman and a man. 

Body-worn camera footage shows the officers knock on the door and announce themselves as police, while taking cover on each side when Whitaker opened the door.

He had a gun in his hand and stepped toward one of the officers.

“Believing the other is in imminent danger, the second officer fires his weapon, striking Whitaker,” Sgt. Tommy Thompson said. 

Whitaker did not fire his gun, and also appeared to be surrendering when the officer opened fire, killing him at the scene.

“The entire encounter between the officers and Whitaker lasted just seconds,” Thompson said.

Following the shooting, Whitaker’s girlfriend could be heard screaming. According to reports, she then stepped out of the apartment with her hands in the air.

“Why did you guys shoot him?” the girlfriend told the officers.

“He’s pulled a gun on us, ma’am,” one of the officers responded.

“Because it’s dark and someone has knocked on the door”. 

The reports said she claimed her and Whitaker were playing video games.

“We were playing Crash Bandicoot, so there may have been some screaming from PlayStation, but it’s no — it wasn’t domestic violence or anything,” the girlfriend allegedly told police.

The incident is still under investigation.