New Orleans, LA – Police have released bodycam videos from a shootout in Treme that left one man dead and an officer injured on Jan. 4 (video below).
New Orleans officers responded to a home in the 2300-block of Orleans Avenue at about 10 p.m. after a child called 911 and reported that 33-year-old Zonell Williams had held a gun to his own head, The New Orleans Advocate reported.
The bodycam video, from multiple officers’ cameras, showed that when police arrived on the scene, New Orleans Police Officer April Augustine went up to the front door and rang the bell and knocked.
The video showed the door opened and a woman came running out yelling “He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!”
Then she dashed for cover near Officer Mario Bravo, The New Orleans Advocate reported.
A second woman appeared in the doorway screaming, and Officer Augustine talked her out the door and pushed her out of the way just seconds before Williams stuck his gun through the doorway and opened fire, the video showed.
Williams stormed out of the house shooting, and struck Officer Bravo twice.
Both bullets hit Officer Bravo, a two-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department, in the vest but did not penetrate his body armor.
Officers Bravo, Augustine, and Darius McFarland fired back and Williams was hit multiple times, The New Orleans Advocate reported.
Williams was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Officer Bravo was taken to University Medical Center to be examined and has since been released, The New Orleans Advocate reported.
All three officers have been on desk duty since the incident, as is protocol with all officer-involved shootings, but were expected to return to patrol duties immediately.
The police department investigated and determined that the officers were justified in using deadly force against Williams, The New Orleans Advocate reported.
“This [situation] immediately escalated to saving lives and doing what was necessary to save their own lives,” New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said.
Police said Officer Bravo had been trained to handle mental health crisis calls but in this case, there was no time to use those tactics.
The incident lasted about 70 seconds in total from the time Officer Augustine rang the doorbell til Williams collapsed after being riddled with bullets, according to The New Orleans Advocate.
Relatives told police that Williams had never been diagnosed with any mental health problems, and they said his behavior on the night he died was out of character and a complete mystery.
Williams’ family asked the New Orleans police superintendent to speak at his funeral, and he did.
“The family wanted everyone to know they still supported the police,” Superintendent Harrison said.
You can watch the shooting from the perspective of several bodycams here below: