As the world is still coming to grips over the Alton Sterling shooting that showcased the Louisiana man killed as he was pinned down by two police officers, the sympathy is being stretched mighty thin now that the name Philando Castile has begun to permeate social media.
The 32-year-old Minnesota man was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center following a traffic stop in the area of Larpenteur Avenue and Fry Street in the city of Falcon Heights. His mother, Valerie Castile, confirmed his passing with WCCO.
Castile’s chilling death was chronicled by his girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, who began live streaming on Facebook shortly after Castile was shot while sitting in the passenger seat of a car. The video opens with Reynolds screaming “stay with me” as Castile sat bleeding to death while she explained to her viewers they had been pulled over for a “busted taillight in the back.” Reynolds’ young daughter was also in the vehicle at the time they were pulled over and at the start of the broadcast, was being detained by other responding officers.
The officer, obviously distraught and untrained for high-intensity situations, repeatedly yelled “fuck!” before bellowing, “I told him to get his hand off!” as he continued to point the gun into the car.
Reynolds, on the other hand, remained calm and brought viewers up to speed, who were undoubtedly confused as Castile squirmed in his seat while wearing a blood-soaked t-shirt.
“He’s licensed to carry and was trying to get out his ID and his wallet out his [pocket] and he let the officer know he had a firearm, and he was reaching for his wallet,” Reynolds said, attempting to piece together her thoughts.
“And the officer just shot him in his arm … he just shot his arm off.”
As Castile lapsed in and out of consciousness, the officer grew increasingly hysterical and Reynolds exclaimed “Oh my God, don’t tell me he’s dead, please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that…Please, officer, don’t tell me he’s gone; please don’t tell me that you did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir,” she exclaimed.
Shortly after, Reynolds was removed from the vehicle at another officer’s behest, handcuffed and placed in the backseat of the police cruiser with her child. As she attempted to keep filming the events as they transpired, her daughter consoled her saying, “It’s O.K. Mommy. I’m right here with you.”
Reynolds immediately broke down as she apparently saw Castile’s lifeless body for ambulances had yet to arrive on the scene.
“Please, Jesus, no!” she cried. “Don’t let him be gone, Lord.”
According to Castile’s mother, her son died two days shy of his 33rd birthday. He worked as a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul and during the Facebook Live stream, Reynolds described him as “a good man” who had never been to jail.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is reportedly investigating the situation.