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St. Paul police release bodycam footage of William Hughes shooting

The footage shows the 43-year-old raise his hand, holding a handgun, before he's shot.
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Authorities have released body cam footage showing the moment two St. Paul police officers shot dead William Hughes.

Hughes, 43, was killed at a property at 905 St. Anthony Avenue on Aug. 5, by officers who had responded to reports of shots fired.

The body cam footage shows Officers Matthew Jones and Vincent Adams waiting  for Hughes to come out into the covered porch.

When he does, holding a handgun in his right hand, they tell him to put his hands in the air. He raises his right hand over his head, at which point they open fire.

One of the officers says "goddamnit" after they stop firing.

St. Paul police chief Todd Axtell says that when officers first knocked on the doors, they could hear a man saying, "I will kill you."

The reason they released the footage was because of the "rumor and falsehoods" there is in the community, with Axtell saying didn't want police officers being put at risk because of such misinformation.

He wouldn't on comment on whether the shooting was justified, saying that's a decision for the Ramsey County Attorney's Office, but said he was sorry to Hughes' family for their loss.

Here is an excerpt of the footage – be warned that the content is extremely upsetting.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, responding to the video said: "The death of William Hughes, captured on video, is difficult to watch. My heart goes out to Mr. Hughes’ family and friends and the two police officers who were involved in this shooting.

"Undoubtedly, the release of this video will engender a wide variety of feelings in our community, including sadness, anger and confusion.

"It will be the job of this office to analyze all of the evidence gathered through the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s (BCA) investigation and decide whether the use of lethal force was justified under the law. While the video that the public will see today is one critical piece of evidence, it does not tell the entire story. The testimony of the officers involved in the shooting, the friend of William Hughes who called 911 and other key facts are crucial to truly understanding what happened that night."

Choi added that his office will be looking to make a decision as soon as possible.

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