There has been a lot to unpack in the case of Gabby Petito’s death, and the domestic violence incident between her and Brian Laundrie is a major factor.

As we’ve been reporting, Gabby and Brian, who were living together in a van while traveling across the country, were pulled over by police and questioned regarding a domestic violence incident just weeks before her disappearance. Officers on the scene concluded that Gabby had assaulted Brian, but decided not to issue a domestic violence citation, and instead separated the couple for the night.

Things got more complicated when audio from the 911 call about the incident revealed that the witness had said they saw Brian hitting Gabby. This inconsistency led to further questions as to why the couple was allowed to walk away from the incident, which was possibly a precursor to Gabby’s homicide. Since then, Moab City Police Department have announced an investigation into the actions taken by responding officers on that day.

Previous bodycam footage from the incident mostly focused on Brian’s version of events, but on Thursday, journalist Brian Entin of NewsNation obtained more footage from the incident that includes the cops’ interview with Gabby. In the new video, the 22-year-old admitted that her boyfriend had indeed gotten physical with her. She conceded that Brian had grabbed her face:

“He grabbed it with his nail. I definitely have a cut right here. I can feel it. If I touch it it burns.”

But when the officer told Gabby that witnesses “saw him hit you,” and “saw him punch you,” she insisted:

“Well, to be honest, I definitely hit him first.”

She explained that she had slapped Brian “a couple””of times, after which he grabbed her arm, and then her face. She specified that he did not hit her or punch her in any way.

Regarding the contradictory witness reports, the officer actually called one of the witnesses — who admitted they didn’t actually see Brian hit Gabby:

“I just noticed this couple was sort of arguing a bit. It seemed like they were sort of arguing over a phone. It seemed like he was trying to grab her phone. … I think I saw maybe a push or a shove but not a full-on punch to the face or anything.”

When Gabby herself was faced with the possible domestic violence citation, she cried:

“I don’t want to be separated. Please. We’re a team, please. It’s going to give me so much anxiety, can we just have a driving ticket?”

After both parties stated that they did not want to press charges, the officers decided not to issue the citation. In the video, the officer double checked that Gabby wasn’t “attempting to cause him physical pain or physical impairments,” which she adamantly denied.

This new footage certainly clarifies things, and admittedly, it makes the discrepancy between the witness report and the officers’ decision look less egregious. The couple were obviously in a volatile state before Gabby’s death, which makes it all the more crucial that Brian is found to answer questions about their final days together.

See the full bodycam footage (below):

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