EXCLUSIVE | Portsmouth PD footage of shooting pursuit revealed

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PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Portsmouth Police say a split-decision saved lives.

WSAZ obtained a copy of dash cam footage of the Portsmouth Police cruisers involved in a chase Jan. 29. (Courtesy: Portsmouth PD)

Video obtained by WSAZ from the Portsmouth Police Department shows the moments leading up to when officers Josh Justice and John Throckmorton say they had to decide whether to open fire to stop the suspect.

“We knew our window that was coming up,” Throckmorton said. “We knew we had a non-populated area where we could take that shot to disable the vehicle or the driver. That's when I radioed up to him passing the bridge asking if I could put that rifle on that vehicle.”

That's when Throckmorton caught up with the suspect.

“I got up on that vehicle, was able to put that rifle on my steering wheel and actually start putting rounds on that vehicle,” Throckmorton said.

Police say the passenger, John Clifton Knotts, fired back -- putting the officers' lives in jeopardy.

“We had to stand in that gap and you know,” Justice said. “Officer Throckmorton put himself in a firefight to protect the citizens.”

After shots were fired, Justice rammed into the car, just before the pursuit entered South Shore, Kentucky. That's when police were able to take down the suspect.

“It's the outcome we all hoped for,” Justice said.

All officers involved in the shooting were cleared administratively by the Portsmouth Police Department Tuesday and are back on the job.

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