Results from the autopsy of Robbie Ramirez show that Albany County Sheriff’s Corporal Derek Colling shot him three times in the process of killing him, including twice in the back.
Ramirez, who was unarmed and struggled with mental illness, was the third person Colling has shot and killed in the line of duty.
Albany County for Proper Policing (ACoPP) obtained the autopsy from Ramirez’s family and, with permission from Ramirez’s mother, has released it on the group’s website. ACoPP has also produced a short video featuring former Albany County Coroner KC Vernon explaining the technical aspects of the report.
Vernon was Coroner in Albany County from 2011 – 2014 and later worked in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Syracuse, New York. In the video, she explains that one of Colling’s shots entered Ramirez’s upper arm and proceeded through his armpit and chest, suggesting that Ramirez had his arm raised slightly and in front of him when he was shot. The two other shots entered Ramirez’s back—one pierced his aorta, and the other did organ damage as well, lacerating his liver.
Vernon says it’s impossible to tell from the autopsy alone the order in which Colling fired the shots.
Paired with video footage from the dash and body cameras, it appears that Colling shot Ramirez first in the arm, and then twice in the back as he lay on the ground.
The autopsy report also shows “faint, linear contusions” on Ramirez’s wrists consistent with having been handcuffed. In the videos, Ramirez is not handcuffed before he is shot, suggesting that Colling handcuffed him afterward.
Finally, the autopsy report includes a toxicology screen of Ramirez that indicates he was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the time of his encounter with Colling.
The full autopsy report can be found on our website here: https://www.acopp.org/ramirez-autopsy.