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Never-Before-Seen Bodycam Footage Shows Shootout Before Chelsea Bomber's Capture By NJ Police

What to Know

  • For the first time, jurors in the Chelsea bomber trial saw bodycam footage of NJ cops finding Ahmad Khan Rahimi, and the ensuing shootout
  • The exclusive clip obtained by NBC New York shows video from a police body camera worn by an officer Rahimi shot before trying to flee
  • Rahimi took off on foot as he was pursued by police, and was later captured. He now faces attempted murder charges for shooting at the cops

For the first time, jurors in the trial for the Chelsea bomber watched bodycam footage of New Jersey cops finding Ahmad Khan Rahimi — and the ensuing shootout before his capture.

The exclusive clip obtained by NBC New York shows video from a police body camera worn by Officer Angel Padilla, who comes upon Rahimi huddled in a Linden tavern vestibule. The officer asks the man a few questions, including where he is from, before the man pulls out a gun and fires at Padilla.

Rahimi then runs away after shooting the cop in his bulletproof vest. Officer Padilla can be heard calling for backup before chasing after the then-suspected bomber in his patrol car.

Rahimi ran down Elizabeth Street, pausing briefly to fire at the police car and other pursing officers, Padilla is heard saying over the radio. There were as many as five New Jersey cops who Rahimi fired at during the pursuit, two of whom were hurt but both recovered.

Just four minutes after the initial shots were fired, Rahimi was seriously wounded in the crossfire and brought into custody.

The Afghanistan-born naturalized U.S. citizen is already serving a life sentence for the bombings in New York City, and now faces attempted murder and other charges stemming from his arrest in New Jersey in September 2016.

A judge in New York sentenced Rahimi to multiple life terms in 2018 after a jury convicted him of setting off a pressure cooker device, injuring 30 people.

That explosion in Chelsea happened hours after a small pipe bomb exploded along a Marine Corps road race in Seaside Park, New Jersey. No one was injured.

The bombings triggered a two-day manhunt that ended in the shootout with police, which prosecutors in the case say they will show more videos of on Thursday.

For the first two days of his New Jersey trial Rahimi showed no expression on his face, even as prosecutors on Wednesday showed a bloodstained notebook that the bomber had on him at the scene in Linden. The notebook, which was a bullethole in it, contained other violent messages including a passage that read "Gunshots to your police, Death to your oppressors."

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