Charles Kinsey, a behavioral therapist at a group home in North Miami, Florida, said he was shot by police officers on Monday while he attempted to calm an autistic patient who had escaped.
Cellphone video of the incident leading to the shooting was released on Wednesday, but no footage of the actual shooting has been recovered, according to authorities.
Officers were responding to a 911 call about an armed man threatening suicide.
“Our officers responded to the scene with that threat in mind. We had witness statements that there was a gun. We had a 911 call with that same information,” North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene said on Thursday, according to CNN. “However, I want to make it clear, there was no gun recovered.”
Kinsey told WSVN7 Miami that he was more worried about the 24-year-old patient, thinking that as long as his hands were up, the officers would not shoot.
“When I went to the ground, I went to the ground with my hands up,” Kinsey said, “and I am laying there just like this. Telling them again there is no need for firearms. He is autistic. He has a toy truck in his hand.”
Kinsey said he was trying to calm the patient down, but after a few minutes, one of the officers fired.
“I’m like this right here, and when he shot me, it was so surprising,” Kinsey said. “I thought it was a mosquito bite, and when it hit me I had my hands in the air, and I’m thinking I just got shot! And I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me were, ‘I don’t know.’”
Kinsey’s employer, Clint Bower, told ABC10 Miami that Kinsey was shot three times in the leg.
The officer’s name has not been released but has been placed on administrative leave, according to ABC10. The New York Daily News reported that the state’s attorney has joined the investigation.