The Brutality of Woody's Slaying
The brutality of the police assault on Woody is shocking in its details. The body of evidence indicates that the fatal assault consisted to two stages. First, Officer Parker, having advanced on Woody with his gun drawn, shot two rounds at Woody as he was essentially standing still, holding the knife towards his eye. At least one of these rounds hit Woody, who then apparently made a run for the door through which he entered. But he fell in front of the podium, then the second stage of the assault commenced: a rapid succession of 5 rounds fired from above by officers Parker and Holbrook.
While this account of the first stage of the assault is corroborated by many of the eyewitnesses, the second stage was observed by only a few. However, the account of Tommy Thomas was highly detailed and explicit, and is corroborated by other evidence.
The assault on Woody was then aggravated by his subsequent treatment. After receiving at least seven gunshot wounds from 40 caliber rounds, several of which had shattered the bones in his right arm and one of which had hit his left arm, the police handcuffed his arms behind his back. The handling by police of Woody's shattered arm to apply the handcuffs must have compounded the agonizing pain Woody was in, given the number of nerve endings in the arm.
The brutality of Woody's killing is captured on a voicemail message in which he can be heard to groan in agony and beg for help.
Woody's needless and brutal slaying at the hands of of police is unfortunately not an uncommon occurrence in our society. What is unusual is that such deadly force was unleashed against a white man inside a church -- more commonly the victims are people of color, without witnesses to their plight.