Body cam footage released in fatal Cape Coral officer-involved shooting

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Dramatic body camera footage shows the moment shots were fired, killing Rolly Thomas, 34, and injuring his 7-month-old baby in an October 2015 standoff involving police.

According to police records, Thomas violated a restraining order when he dropped off a child to his previous live-in girlfriend Marsha Alexander. The couple was having issues when in June 2015 a judge permitted Alexander to stay in Thomas’ home with their children. Thomas was ordered to stay away.

The judge’s decision may have inspired Thomas’ actions on Oct. 24, pushing him to a breaking point.

“He’s tired of it. His wife’s taken everything from him. She’s living in the house he’s paying for and he’s got no other choice and he’s stated probably ten times that he’s not gonna go to jail. He’s not gonna go to court and we’re gonna have to kill him,” an officer is heard saying in body cam video, many parts of which are missing images.

In the more than 400 minutes of footage released Tuesday Alexander can be seen on the ground in the front yard, writhing in pain from a gunshot wound. She asks an officer to help her as she begins to lose consciousness. The officer speaks to her gently, telling her to calm down.

“Relax, I’m coming. OK, lay down. Relax,” the officer is heard saying.

The Cape Coral police set up a perimeter and began dialogue with Thomas.

He was armed with multiple guns inside and used two of his children as hostages while in his home at 1518 NE 43rd Lane, police said.

Officers are heard trying to coax Thomas out of the home.

“If you come out, let me have the baby and then we’ll talk, OK?” one officer said.

At one of the most intense moments in the footage, one of Thomas’ five children is seen running out of the front door. You can see the child’s little feet scurrying across the pavement as an officer yells orders, apparently trying to ensure their safe exit from the home.

“Kids get outside right now!” an officer says with his gun visibly drawn. “Come here! Come here! Come here! Come here! Go!”

But there were still two children in the home when Thomas exchanged bullets with officers almost immediately after.

Thomas appeared partially from the home’s front door and pointed his shotgun at officers, police said in June. In the quick conversations between officers after the shooting, it’s difficult to decipher who is speaking, but one officer explains why he fatally shot Thomas.

“Looked like the gun dropped. Hold up. He’s down. He’s laying on the ground! Did you see him come out the door? That’s why I shot. He came to the door with gun,” at least one officer is heard saying.

In the video, officers are also heard saying “He’s got a 7 month old right in his lap!”

The 7 month old was injured by a gunshot wound, according to police reports from June. Another child was asleep and unharmed. The baby and Alexander were treated for their injuries at a hospital.

Thomas was fatally shot by Matthew Mills, a nine-year veteran with the Cape Coral Police Department. Mills returned to duty in June when he was found justified in shooting Thomas during the tense standoff.

No officers were injured.

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