LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – David “Ya Ya” McAtee, the black man who was shot dead during a police incident in west Louisville early Monday morning, fired a gun before being hit amid an exchange of gunfire involving Metro police and National Guard troops, according to Louisville police’s description of video they released Tuesday.
Police said it was not clear whom McAtee was firing at, but McAtee was shot by either Louisville Metro Police Department or the National Guard.
“This video appears to show Mr. McAtee firing a gun outside of his business door as officers who were using pepper balls to clear the Dino’s (Food Mart parking) lot were approaching his business,” acting Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder said during a Mayor Greg Fischer news conference. “This video does not provide all the answers, but we are releasing it to provide transparency.
“It does not answer every question, including, ‘Why did he fire?’ and ‘Where were police at the time he fired’?” Schroeder said. “We know these are questions the community is asking, and we are asking these same questions ourselves. That is why we conduct a thorough investigation to get these answers.”
In a news conference Tuesday evening, LMPD Assistant Police Chief LaVita Chavous said McAtee “had a gun in his hand,” and it was later found close to his body.
The audio-less footage was taken from surveillance cameras inside McAtee’s barbecue restaurant and on the wall of an adjoining business.
The Louisville officers, including two who fired their weapons, were not wearing body cameras or did not turn them on during the incident, violating department policy. That led Fischer to fire police chief Steve Conrad on Monday about a month ahead of his planned retirement.
McAtee’s death has inflamed community tensions over police brutality. The incident happened because police were trying to enforce Mayor Greg Fischer’s dusk-to-dawn curfew, which Fischer ordered Saturday to stop violence that broke out during protests over the police killing of 26-year-old Louisville resident Breonna Taylor.