Louisville Metro Police officials released security footage Tuesday of what they said appears to show a black businessman firing a weapon at law enforcement officers before they return fire, killing him.
Police said David McAtee, owner of Yaya’s BBQ, began to shoot “outside his business door” early Monday morning as officers worked to clear a parking lot at a nearby establishment and then began moving toward his business.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement Monday that both the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Kentucky National Guard were in the area working to disperse a crowd when they were fired upon. “LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard returned fired resulting in a death.”
The crowd had gathered to call for justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman who was killed by police in her home in March.
Prior to releasing the security video, Rob Schroeder, the LMPD’s interim chief, said several questions still remain about the McAtee incident.
“The video does not provide all the answers,” Schroeder said.
He also said investigators are still trying to piece together issues that include “Why did he fire?” and “Where were police at the time he fired?”
The security footage comes from two videos, one from inside McAtee’s eatery and another giving an outside view from an adjoining business.
There is no sound on either video.
The first shows McAtee, wearing a shirt with a red back, carrying what appear to be cooking utensils.
At one point, roughly a dozen people start to hastily make their way inside his establishment through an open door. At around the 2:27 mark, McAtee can be seen reaching outside the doorway. Moments later he clutches his upper chest and eventually collapses to the floor.
The second angle, at around 5:15, appears to show officers shooting toward the door, but who is standing there is obscured from view by a screen door.
The video’s release comes a day after the termination of Police Chief Steve Conrad.
He was relieved of duty when state and local officials called for the release of officer body-camera footage, only to learn that the devices worn by officers on the scene had not been activated. Member station WFPL in Louisville reports that both the governor and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said that was unacceptable.
LMPD Maj. Paul Humphrey was asked during the news conference what he thought of the sequence of events based on the footage. He said officers looked like they were addressing individuals at Dino’s Food Mart nearby.
“As the officers are addressing those individuals, Mr. McAtee appears to fire at the officers, and they take cover and return fire,” Humphrey said.
“But without the audio and without having interviewed the officers yet, that is yet to be determined exactly how those incidents occurred.”
He later said, “At this point,” it appears McAtee fired first.
Humphrey was asked if a gun was recovered from the body of McAtee. He said the answer, as well as whether McAtee was shot by the police or the National Guard, will come out as the investigation unfolds.
He did say LMPD officers involved had not been questioned by investigators as of the press briefing, adding it is “typical that officers will have their legal counsel prior to interviewing.” He said he expected those interviews to take place 48 hours after the incident.