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VIDEO: Cameras Show Louisville Business Owner Shot First At Cops, National Guard

Louisville officials released surveillance video that showed David McAtee fired first at police and National Guard.

Louisville, KY – One day after firing the police chief following the fatal shooting of a popular neighborhood businessman, the mayor released surveillance video that showed 53-year-old David McAtee fired the first shots at police and National Guard soldiers (video below).

“This video does not provide all the answers, but we are releasing it to provide transparency,” Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) Interim Police Chief Rob Schroeder told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday, WAVE reported.

The incident occurred at about 12:15 a.m. on June 1 when police and National Guard were sent to break up a crowd in the parking lot of Dino’s Food Mart at 26th and Broadway, WLKY reported.

A curfew went into effect at 9 p.m. on Sunday for the entire city following nights of rioting.

Law enforcement cracked down amid the violence and the Kentucky National Guard was deployed to the city after seven people were shot during a protest of the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville late Thursday night.

Now-former LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said a crowd was gathered in the parking lot hours after the city’s emergency curfew began on May 31, NBC News reported.

He said officers and soldiers were attempting to disperse the gathering when someone in the crowd opened fire on them, according to WLKY.

Cell phone video filmed by a bystander showed soldiers and police taking cover behind vehicles as the crowd screamed and ran.

Officers and soldiers returned fire and St. Louis business owner David McAtee was fatally shot, WLKY reported.

McAtee’s mother told the Courier Journal that her 53-year-old son owned a barbecue business next door to Dino’s Food Mart.

The popular chef was active in his community and many community leaders joined the vigils mourning his death and spoke out against the Louisville police.

On Monday afternoon, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer fired Chief Conrad, citing “institutional failure” and the recent fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor during what may have been a botched warrant service.

Then, on Tuesday, surveillance videos from inside McAtee’s kitchen and from a camera on the exterior of the building were released that showed the timing of what happened.

The newly-released video showed that when police and National Guard arrived to clear the people gathered next door, a group of people ran into the kitchen of McAtee’s restaurant, Yaya’s BBQ, to hide.

Security video from inside the kitchen at Yaya’s BBQ showed that as people rushed in through the door, McAtee rushed to get outside.

He pushed his way through oncoming people to the doorway, and shoved the female employee standing in the threshold out of harm’s way, the video showed.

And then the video showed McAtee stepped into the open doorway, raised his right hand, and fired a gun in the direction of the activity outside.

Then he stepped back into the kitchen for about five seconds before he stepped out again, the video showed.

The second time he went out the door and appeared to raise his arm to fire on officers, McAtee was struck by return fire.

The video showed he stumbled back into the restaurant clutching his chest and fell to the floor.

After he fell, the video showed the girl he had pushed out of the way a moment earlier pointing to the gun McAtee had dropped on the floor by the door.

Exterior security footage showed what was happening outside the restaurant after everyone rushed inside to safety.

The video showed officers approached the pop-up tent in the parking lot but never went past the edge of it, or further approached the restaurant.

In the video, a puff of smoke is seen in the doorway, and then the officers retreated to take up tactical positions and returned fire.

“That’s what it appears at this point,” LMPD Major Paul Humphrey told reporters, according to WAVE. “Mr. McAtee appears to fire at the officers and they take cover and return fire, but without audio … that is yet to be determined.”

A few seconds later another puff of smoke is seen when gunfire strikes the side of the building where McAtee was standing in the doorway.

Officials have not said how many times the business owner fired his weapon at police.

Louisville Metro Council President David James was good friends with the McAtee and expressed frustration that the officers involved in the incident in front of Yaya’s BBQ either didn’t have or didn’t turn on bodycams, WAVE reported.

“The fact, though, that all those police officers were there and nobody had a bodycam on is absolutely astonishing to me,” James said. “And I’m wondering what the police department will do to enforce discipline to make sure that takes place.”

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that the investigation into Breonna Taylor’s death needed to move much faster, WLKY reported.

Beshear vowed to make sure there was no delay in the McAtee investigation and said he felt the mayor had made the right decision in firing the police chief.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content:

Sandy Malone - June Wed, 2020


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