Bodycam Footage Appears To Show US Airman Fatally Shot By Police


Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Florida’s Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office released bodycam footage Thursday of a police shooting that later resulted in the death of a U.S. airman during a press conference.

The footage showed a law enforcement deputy responding to an incident of a domestic fight Friday at an apartment complex. A woman told the officer that the apartment where the incident happened was “1401” and observed that “the girl [in the apartment who called] sounded scared…and [that it sounded] like it’s getting really out of hand.” The deputy could be seen approaching an apartment with a plaque that read 1401 and repeatedly knocking on the door.

He also announced that he was with the sheriff’s office and to open the door. When the suspect, who was blurred out, opened the door, he could be seen carrying what appeared to be an object in one hand. The deputy, after requesting the suspect “step back”, appeared to have noticed the object and started to shoot the man.

The deputy shouted for the suspect to “drop the gun” to which the suspect responded “It is over there. I don’t have it.” The deputy could be heard reporting the incident and requesting emergency medical services to come to his location.

Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden said in a press release Tuesday that the suspect “later succumbed to his injuries,” the deputy involved in the incident was placed on administrative leave and that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as well as the State Attorney’s Office would be conducting a review. (RELATED: REPORT: Wisconsin Police Fatally Shoot Armed Teenager Outside Middle School)

The deceased was identified as Senior Airman Roger Fortson, CBS News reported. Ben Crump, an attorney for the Fortson family, tweeted photos of the deceased and said that Fortson’s death was “needless.”

Crump’s office tweeted that a witness told them that the deputy allegedly entered the wrong apartment, allegedly burst into Fortson’s apartment when Fortson was armed and allegedly shot him “six times.” Fortson, according to Crump’s press release, was heard by the witness saying “I can’t breathe” when he was on the floor.

The police footage did not appear to substantiate those allegations.