Surveillance video shows Texas teen fatally shot by officers in police lobby

LONGVIEW, Texas -- New police station video surveillance footage has been released depicting the events that resulted in a teenager, reportedly suffering from mental illness, being shot and killed in a police department lobby.

WARNING: Graphic content

Tap to view if on News app.

Longview police said officers fatally shot 17-year-old Kristiana Coignard, who walked into the Longview Police Department lobby threatening them with an 8-inch butcher knife Thursday, Jan. 22, reported Longview News-Journal. Police spokesperson Kristie Brian had said when Coignard "came at the officers," she was shot "multiple times."

The surveillance video capturing the incident was released Jan. 28 by Longview police.

"What they did is what they were trained to do," Chief Don Dingler said Wednesday before releasing the video, reported News-Journal.

Brian had initially said on Jan. 28 that the police would not release the video of the incident as it would compromise a grand jury review. It has not yet clear why the department changed its mind.

At 1:25 in the video, Coignard enters the empty police station, but stands at the threshold for almost 30 seconds before finally walking into the lobby.

After wandering around for a few minutes, and checking her phone, Coignard turns to an assistance phone on the far wall that connects directly to dispatch. After staring still for almost a minute, Coignard slowly reaches to pick up the phone.

After asking to speak to an officer, Coignard hangs up and stands almost motionless for two more minutes.

Patrolman Glenn Derr -- who has been with the department for two years -- finally responded, entering the lobby from the street.

When Derr approached Coignard, "She had 'I have a gun' written on her hand," police spokesperson Brian said. Coignard did not have a firearm, however.

There is a brief engagement before Derr grapples Coignard and subdues her into a lobby chair.

The physical confrontation continued until Derr is seen struggling on top of Coignard on the ground. He eventually stands with his weapon drawn and pointed at Coignard. According to Chief Dingler, Coignard had pulled a knife.

Police have not made clear why Coignard was not handcuffed.

Two more officers, 19-year veteran Gene Duffie and 4-year veteran Grace Bagley, arrived as Coignard begins to stand. Though Coignard's body is blocked from view, police say she threatened them with the knife.

Duffie tried to subdue Coignard with a stun guy, though it had no effect.

At 11:05 in the video, Coignard charged toward Derr, and the officers shot at her. Derr fired three times, Bagley firing twice.

After Coignard was shot, she immediately fell to the ground and does not appear conscious afterward.

EMTs arrived six minutes later, though after 30 seconds, are already seen moving in with a gurney and body bag. At 6:45 p.m., Coignard was taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Up until the video's release, police had refused to release many details regarding the case, including what weapon Coignard had used to threaten the officers.

Coignard had been living with her Aunt, Heather Robertson, who questions the circumstances of her niece's death.

Speaking to political blog Think Progress, Robertson said the her niece had been struggling with mental illness since her mother had died when she was four. Coignard had suffered from both depression and bipolar disorder, and had been hospitalized twice after two suicide attempts.

Robertson said, though, that Coignard "was only violent with herself," having no previous criminal record. Coignard had been seeing a therapist since December and taking medication.

The night of Coignard's death, Robertson said she spoke with police for about 30 minutes, and was told that video of the incident exists with audio. The video released by the Longview Police, however, does not contain audio.

The three officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid leave pending an investigation made by Texas Rangers.

Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.