LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville police say video shows that a man fatally shot while police and National Guard soldiers were enforcing a curfew fired a gun as officers approached his business during protests.
The video showing David McAtee opening fire was obtained from security cameras at McAtee’s business and an adjoining business.
Acting police Chief Robert Schroeder made the announcement Tuesday.
He says it shows McAtee shooting while officers were trying to clear protesters from a parking lot.
WAVE reported the videos, one from McAtee’s YaYa’s BBQ Shack and another from an adjacent business, were released during a news conference led by Mayor Greg Fischer.
“This is going to be difficult," Fischer said, acknowledging how popular McAtee was in his community and even with the many police officers.
Fischer, Schroeder and Maj. Paul Humphrey all said the investigation into Monday’s shooting is still in the early stages and that many questions remain unanswered.
“Mr. McAtee appears to fire at the officers, and they take cover and return fire. But without audio ... that is yet to be determined," Humphrey said.
Fischer said he met with McAtee’s mother Tuesday morning to show her the video before making it public.
“This is a difficult piece of the story to process, but I believe in transparency,” Fischer said.
Louisville police and National Guard officers were called to the area near 26th and Broadway at about 12:15 a.m. Monday to disperse a crowd, the department said.
Police said somebody fired a shot at the officers, and when officers fired back, they shot and killed McAtee. His family members said his niece also was struck by gunfire but that she’s OK.
“This video does not provide all the answers, but we are releasing it to provide transparency,” Schroeder said.
Metro Council President David James was in the WAVE studio when the videos were released.
“The video is only a part of what’s happening there,” said James, who knew McAtee well and broke down in tears during a news conference Monday when he talked about his friend. “I would encourage everyone to understand that that is just a snapshot at that moment.”
James also said the investigation will be more difficult without any officer body camera video.
“The fact, though, that all those police officers were there and nobody had a body cam on is absolutely astonishing to me, and I’m wondering what the police department will do to enforce discipline to make sure that takes place,” he said.
The absence of officer bodycam seemed to be the last straw for embattled Police Chief Steve Conrad. Last month, he announced he would retire this month, but Fischer fired him Monday, calling Conrad’s recent department oversight an “institutional failure.”