VIDEO: Activists Outraged After Cops Shoot Suspect Who Pulled Gun
Fort Worth, TX – Fort Worth police released bodycam video of the officer-involved shooting of an armed fugitive on Sunday (video below).
Police were already looking for 20-year-old JaQuavion Slaton in connection with an aggravated assault on a woman at University of Texas – Tyler in April when they responded to a 911 call about him at about 4 p.m. on June 9, WFAA reported.
Fort Worth Interim Police Chief Ed Krauss said the 911 caller told police Slaton was "yelling at a family member who was too afraid to call police and that he had a knife."
When police arrived, Slaton and his cousin took off running and police officers followed, WFAA reported.
Fort Worth police released bodycam video of the shooting faster than usual in an effort to head off violent protests after outraged community activists demanded action.
The bodycam video showed Slaton and his cousin took off into backyards and over fences as they fled from police.
At one point in the video, Slaton had a black gun in his hand as he ran from officers.
His cousin was caught by police first, the video showed.
Officers located Slaton hiding inside a white pickup truck, the video showed.
The officers surrounded the cab of the pickup truck and ordered Slaton to put his hands up.
Slaton failed to follow or respond to officers’ commands, the video showed.
Then one of the officers said “he’s reaching” just before multiple officers opened fire on the truck.
A loaded handgun was found inside the truck with Slaton, WFAA reported.
“Our officers were not on a mission to take anyone’s life that day," Chief Kraus said.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner ruled that Slaton had died from multiple gunshot wounds to his head and chest, WFAA reported.
The medical examiner said Slaton had taken “high-velocity rounds” to the right shoulder and upper chest and also had multiple wounds from 9mm rounds.
Slaton also had a self-inflicted "loose contact entry gunshot wound of the right temporal head" but the medical examiner had not yet determined whether it was intentional or accidental, WFAA reported.
Neighbors who watched the scene unfold were critical of how the police handled it.
“If the man's backed up in a corner, all they had to do was step back and wait him out,” Stephen Muhammad told WFAA that he lives two doors down from where Slaton was shot.
Muhammad complained that police weren’t concerned about the safety of bystanders when they shot Slaton.
“They had their guns out,” he said. “There were people out, there were children out — my children, my grandchildren. None of that was taken into consideration.”
But Chief Kraus said that was a mischaracterization of what happened, according to WFAA.
The chief said police surrounded the front of the truck to avoid shooting in the direction of any innocent civilians.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price stepped up to defend her police department at a press conference, WFAA reported.
Price said she continued to "support our outstanding Fort Worth police officers."
"Let’s be clear, on Sunday night they were serving a warrant on an individual wanted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon," the mayor told reporters.
"He wasn't one of our own," she said, pointing out that Slaton was not from Fort Worth, according to WFAA.
Later, the mayor addressed the outrage in the community in a written statement.
"I know there is fear and anger among some in our community. But calling for justice and calling our police officers murderers is absolutely appalling and irresponsible," Price said.
Watch video of the foot pursuit and shooting below. WARNING - Graphic Content.