The death of Kumar
337-page investigative report outlines chain of events that led to shooting death of 18-year-old Ebin Proctor by Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputy
PHOENIX - The investigative report of the early morning shooting of 18-year old Ebin "Kumar" Proctor has been released by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
The report shows the Coconino County Medical Examiner found the teen had been shot at least six times by Yavapai Deputy Steve Gorman during the May 30 Verde Village struggled.
A white Jeep containing six young men had been pulled over by the two patrolling deputies about 4 a.m. One of the teens told investigators they had been drinking at the Ogden Ranch area and officers pulled them over after they passed the patrol vehicle with their bright lights on. Officers asked about their drinking and planned to take the juveniles home.
Proctor was on active felony probation since May 22, 2014, when he pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and aggravated assault of a Chino Valley police officer. He had an active warrant for probation violation and offered the officers a bogus identity when asked.
Deputy Gorman told investigators that Proctor had been standing outside the jeep, but turned and fled, and the officer gave chase. Both stumbled through the uneven turf along the easement between houses.
When Gorman came within 5 yards of Proctor, he turned on his Taser. He said it was very dark in the area and told investigators he didn't know if the Taser had worked, although the 18-year old "went down," either from the Taser or because he had tripped. Shortly afterward, Gorman, himself, tripped over the fence and fell beside the suspect and the two began fighting.
The deputy told investigators he was thinking, "This guy is strong; stronger than me." Gorman threw several punches, but he didn't feel they were effective and Proctor began to punch back.
Proctor was 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighed 170 pounds.
Gorman reached for his pepper spray. The officer pushed open the 'safety' on the can and discharged the spray, but it suddenly sprayed back into his own face. He didn't know if Proctor had been sprayed at all.
From that point, Gorman said the teen began to overpower him, pushing him against a wood pile. Gorman began to feel "real scared, because he was being overpowered and had exhausted non-lethal options. He was having difficulty breathing from the pepper spray, exhausted from the pursuit and fight."
Proctor now had control of both his arms and they were face to face on the ground. Gorman said has memory lapses about this period. But, he was able to free his right arm and warned Proctor, "Stop, I'm gonna' shoot you."
Instead, when he presented his weapon, he felt Proctor attempt to grab at it.
Gorman said he feared for his life. He was worried that he would become exhausted and lose control of his weapon and he would be shot. He fired his weapon, but thought it had malfunctioned and attempted to "tap rack" the gun to clear the malfunction
Proctor yelled at him, "You shot me." The officer said Proctor was still going for the officer's gun; seemingly unaffected by a shot.
When Proctor grabbed both his arms, Gorman fired again. He stopped firing, he told the investigator, because Proctor had lost some strength and released his arms. He was now able to handcuff Proctor. He told investigators he didn't know how many shots had been fired.
At that point, the homeowner yelled out the window, "What's going on out here?" Gorman ordered the man to call 911.
Other officers reached Gorman. They reported the deputy was "crying along the property easement and vomiting."
Gorman told Deputy John Bounds, "This was not like Afghanistan. He tried to grab my gun. I was actually scared for my life."
The property owner admitted there were no lights in his back yard, but he said a tarp had been torn, a pile of lumber scattered and wire fencing pulled down. There was blood on the deputy's shirt and Gorman had scratches on his forearm, elbow and knees. He saw the Taser on the ground with wires draped over the dead man's legs.
Sgt. Brandon Rumpf told investigators that Gorman appeared "distraught, shaking really badly, he couldn't see, had snot rolling everywhere and was saying he was pepper sprayed. He said, 'He overpowered me and I couldn't get to my gun. I tried everything.'"
According to Rumpf, Gorman had blood all over the front of his uniform shirt, across his face, and all over his duty gear.
The medical examiner determined that Proctor's blood and urine analysis showed he had consumed cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol.
Sheriff Scott Mascher said he is withholding comment on the report, pending a decision by the Yavapai County Attorney's Office, which is also reviewing the report.