Woman charged in assault for live-streaming shooting

Published 2:36 pm Saturday, March 4, 2017

ST. PAUL — A woman who livestreamed the fatal police shooting of her boyfriend during a traffic stop in Minnesota last year was charged Friday in a reported assault.

Diamond Reynolds and two other women were arrested Thursday after a woman reported being attacked and hit in the head with a hammer on Tuesday morning, police spokesman Steve Linders said. The victim was hospitalized with serious injuries but was able to identify the three suspects, he said.

Reynolds, 27, was charged in Ramsey County with two felony counts of assault. Interim bail was set at $90,000, and Reynolds is scheduled to make her first court appearance Monday.

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According to the criminal complaint, Reynolds struck the victim in the head with a hammer, knocking her to the ground. Reynolds continued hitting the woman in the head with the hammer, then smashed the windshield of the victim’s car, the complaint said.

Online court records do not list an attorney who could comment on Reynolds’ behalf. A lawyer Reynolds hired after the shooting, Larry Rogers, didn’t immediately reply to a phone message seeking comment.

Reynolds used Facebook Live to stream the bloody aftermath of the fatal shooting of her boyfriend, 32-year-old Philando Castile. Castile, who was black, was shot by a police officer during a July 6 traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights.

Prosecutors said the Latino officer, Jeronimo Yanez of the St. Anthony Police Department, shot Castile seven times after the elementary school cafeteria worker told him he was armed. Authorities later discovered Castile had a permit to carry a weapon.

After the final shot, Reynolds frantically yelled: “You just killed my boyfriend!”

Castile moaned and uttered his final words: “I wasn’t reaching for it.”

Yanez pleaded not guilty Monday to manslaughter and other charges. His trial is scheduled to begin May 30. His attorneys said he had no choice but to shoot Castile after he saw a gun and perceived a threat to his life.

Prosecutors dispute whether the officer saw the gun.