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New body camera footage released Monday by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office shows a shootout between a deputy and a strangulation suspect that ultimately left the accused domestic abuser dead. Records show Phillip Francis, 43, arrived at his ex-girlfriend’s home on Ridgemont Road the night of Feb. 6 as deputies were already there investigating an earlier domestic violence incident in which he was accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend and after she went to stay elsewhere out of fear, he returned and set the home on fire.
Deputies said after the fire, Francis returned yet again and this time saw deputies on scene. Body camera video from Deputy Sheriff William Hatch shows him approaching Francis’ silver Infiniti in an attempt to keep him away from the victim. Before Hatch can make his way to the driver’s side door, Francis gets out of the car and shoots twice in Hatch’s direction, according to authorities. Hatch, who wasn’t injured, immediately returned fire.
The sheriff’s office said that portion of the video does not have sound because Hatch wasn’t able to turn on his body-worn camera until about one minute into the encounter. At that point, the camera activated and captured the 60 seconds prior but it doesn’t record sound until a minute in. It’s unknown how many times Hatch fired his weapon or how many times Francis was shot. He was not seen again in the video after the initial gunfire.