Terrifying dash-cam footage captures the moment a crazed motorist opened fire with an AK-47 rifle at police officers who had just pulled him over for a minor traffic violation in Middlefield, Ohio.
James Gilkerson, 42, exited his parked car and then fired 37 shots at the officers and their patrol car, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. Officers Erin Thomas and Brandon Savage returned fire, killing Gilkerson.
Police have no idea why Gilkerson opened fire.
“He got of the vehicle, intending to kill my officers. We don’t know why he did it,” said Middlefield Police Chief Arnold Stanko. “He was a scumbag, and a terrorist, and he’s dead.”
In the March 10 video, Gilkerson exits his car—which the officers pulled over for running a stop sign—and sprays the patrol car with rounds of gunfire, cracking the windshield.
Thomas, reportedly outside the patrol car on the driver’s side, is heard shouting as bullets begin flying at them. Stanko said Gilkerson was shot several times, but kept firing; he even shouted, “Kill me.” Savage returns fire through the windshield, after which the officers kill Gilkerson.
Thomas lost a finger in the shootout; Savage sustained minor injuries to his left thigh.
Here’s the dash-cam footage of the shootout (Warning: Graphic imagery):
Stanko said eight 40-round magazines were found inside Gilkerson’s car, as well as some disturbing reading material (e.g., Backyard Rocketry: Converting Model Rockets into Explosive Missiles and Homemade Detonators: How to Make Them).
Officials say the officers’ actions were justified and no grand jury proceedings will be necessary.