RELATED: Scanner traffic gives insight into Buck Creek deputy-involved shooting
Those officers tried to calm Spencer down in a wooded area near the back of the Visitor’s Center.
In body camera footage released by the sheriff’s office, deputies offer to help Spencer and tell him to put down the knife.
“What do you want us to do for you?,” one deputy says.
But just moments later, the body cam shows Spencer run at one of the deputies — still holding the knife in his hands.
Burchett said Nawman shot Spencer and he fell to the ground. Deputies immediately rushed to Spencer to administer first aid, but he died from his injuries.
Burchett’s statement continues on to say that, “I understand that in situations like these, rumor and speculation are common. We ask that all parties and the general public respect the investigatory process.”
Melissa Zovak and her three daughters saw Spencer at the park right before the shooting.
They were walking along a trail when they saw Spencer behaving “odd.”
Zovak said he was covered in blood and holding a knife to his face.
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“The closer we got — then I saw him making motions towards his wrist, like cutting motions,” she said. “He, a couple of times, put the knife up to his chin — like under his chin.”
Although she said Spencer did not make any direct threats to her or her daughters, she said her motherly instincts kicked in as they passed by him. She said Spencer didn’t seem to be “with himself.”
“I was fearful. That’s one reason I kinda kept him in the corner of my eye. I thought he might lunge at my girls,” Zovak said.
Zovak and her daughters stood behind a barrier on the paved walkway at the reservoir while the incident in the woods unfolded.
She said from her vantage point, she wasn’t able to hear verbal commands, but she did hear three or four gunshots.
“I kept calm until then but when I heard the gunshots, it really kind of set in how dangerous the situation was,” she said.
Spencer’s mother, Norma Jones, said on Monday evening that she didn’t feel her son deserved to die.
She said her son, a father of five, had fallen on hard times and may have been trying to take his life Sunday.
“He needed so much help,” she said.
BCI will turn its investigation over to a to a Clark County Grand Jury when completed.
It will then be the grand jury’s decision whether to proceed with any criminal charges for any of the officers involved.
The Springfield News-Sun was first to confirm that a deadly deputy-involved shooting took place at Buck Creek State Park. Since then, the News-Sun has led the way in coverage of the shooting since Sunday night.