Texas woman mistaken as intruder and shot by police speaks for the 1st time
Eboni Pouncy was joined in her interview by her attorney, Ben Crump.
Eboni Pouncy, who was shot by police in Houston because they mistook her for an intruder in her own home, was joined by her attorney, Ben Crump, in an emotional interview with ABC News Thursday.
Dramatic new body camera footage showing Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies in Houston, Texas, opening fire through a window while responding to a reported break-in had been released last Saturday.
In the new body-worn video of the incident released by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), which spans about four minutes in total, two officers can be seen approaching an upstairs Houston apartment in the early hours of Feb. 3. A car alarm then begins to go off, and one of the officers says something to the other, and the two begin shooting after one of the officers allegedly spots Pouncy inside with a gun, according to HCSO. One of the officers re-loads their weapon and continues firing before the two retreat downstairs and notify colleagues through their radios that shots were fired. A gun was recovered near the apartment entryway after the shooting, according to HCSO.
Pouncy, 28, was visibly shaken during the interview as she recalled the incident that resulted in her being shot five times by police.
"I started seeing holes in the walls. And then I realized there was something coming through the apartment," Pouncy told ABC News. "I see blood everywhere."
Pouncy was in tears when she told ABC News that the hardest part of the shooting was not being able to take care of her one-year-old daughter.
"[My] beautiful baby girl," Pouncy said. "She knows that I'm not able to do the things I was able to do before, and I'm not able to be as attentive with my baby. She's only one [year old]. That's probably the hardest part."
According to the Sheriff’s Office account in the video, the deputies went to investigate the reported break-in and saw "the front window screen removed, broken glass and the blinds raised, near the front door." The deputies knocked, and one of them announced their presence. It is unclear from the body camera footage where the glass was broken.
Pouncy, a friend of the woman who lived in the apartment, sustained a total of five gunshot wounds to the leg and torso, according to her attorney, Ben Crump, who reacted to the release of the video on Monday, calling it "evidence of the unnecessary and excessive force."
None of Pouncy’s vital organs were struck by bullets, but the long-term effects of her injuries are yet to be determined, according to Crump. He told ABC News that Pouncy is traumatized by the incident.
"We all know that every American citizen right now is keenly aware of their Second Amendment rights and their rights to bear arms," Crump told ABC News. "Why is it a presumption that we don't have a right to the Second Amendment? This reminds you of the tragic killing of Breonna Taylor, where her boyfriend was a law-abiding gun-registered citizen. And yet, the police busted in their front door, shooting and killing Breonna."
Pouncy's friend, who was with her the previous night, said that she had forgotten her keys to her apartment. The friend told Pouncy to break the window so they could enter, she said at a news conference last Friday.
The two had been in the house for about 20 minutes when they heard a loud banging on the door, Pouncy’s friend said. Pouncy grabbed her gun and went to the door before she was fired upon by the deputies, according to the friend.
"This newly-released body cam footage is evidence of the unnecessary and excessive force used against her," Crump told ABC News in a statement Monday. "We demand that the deputies involved be immediately held accountable for the terrible injuries."
"The shooting of Eboni Pouncy should have never happened," Crump’s statement continued. "The video shows the deputies that responded to Eboni’s friend’s house shot first and asked questions later. It is concerningly clear by the video and Eboni’s injuries that deputies were not justified in shooting her five times."
Since the incident, both officers have been placed on administrative leave, according to the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s department and local district attorney are investigating, and the case is being referred to a grand jury.
In cell phone video acquired by KTRK, an ABC-owned station, officers can be heard directing Pouncy's friend to come down the stairs after the shooting.
"I live here. Please don't shoot," she responds before officers order her to the ground and handcuff her.
Pouncy was taken to the hospital by paramedics for her injuries.
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