David McAtee 'appears' to have fired his gun first prior to death: Police

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Authorities in Louisville, Kentucky, released additional video footage Tuesday showing what they claim is David McAtee, who was shot dead by law enforcement earlier this week, firing his gun first.

McAtee, who owned YaYa's BBQ near the corner of South 26th Street and Broadway, and whose mother called him a "community pillar," was shot and killed at around 12:15 a.m. Monday outside of his business.

The Louisville Metro Police Department and National Guard were working to disperse protests throughout the city when they were dispatched to break up a large crowd at Dino's Food Mart across the street from McAtee's business, according to police, who say the officers were returning fire when McAtee was killed.

Interim Chief of Police Robert Schroeder said during a press conference Tuesday that additional video footage taken from McAtee's business and an adjoining business "appears to show McAtee firing a gun outside his business door as officers using pepper balls to clear Dino's lot approached his business."

LMPD Training Division commander Maj. Paul Humphrey said that based on the video it appears McAtee fired his gun first, but that they still have to "put all the piece of the investigation together."

Both Humphrey and Schroeder said there are other questions left to answer, such as why McAtee fired his gun, where police were at the time he fired, whether authorities found a gun on McAtee, and if he was shooting at law enforcement or other shooters.

The incident is currently being investigated by local and state authorities while the National Guard does a review of its own members.

Humphrey said authorities have yet to piece together the sequence of events that led to McAtee's death, as there is no audio of the incident and the officers involved haven't yet been interviewed. He said officers are normally interviewed a day or two after the incident so that they have time to seek legal counsel.

Schroeder assumed the position of chief of police on Monday after Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced that former Chief Steve Conrad would be fired ahead of his planned July 1 retirement. The move came after he said he discovered that none of the police officers involved in McAtee's death had their body cameras activated.

Both LMPD officers who were involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, Schroeder said Monday.

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