Story at a glance

  • David McAtee, 53, was shot and killed at his barbecue restaurant in Louisville just after midnight on June 1.
  • The incident took place when police and National Guard members began to break up a crowd that had gathered at Dino’s Food Market, the grocery store next to McAtee’s barbecue shack.
  • Authorities said both the National Guard and Louisville police “returned fire” when McAtee fired his weapon toward police.

Authorities say the shot that killed a black man who owned a barbecue stand in Louisville, Ky. amid George Floyd protests came from a member of the National Guard. 

David McAtee, 53, was shot and killed at his barbecue restaurant in Louisville just after midnight on June 1. The incident took place when police and National Guard members began to break up a crowd that had gathered at Dino’s Food Market, the grocery store next to McAtee’s barbecue shack.


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The National Guard was in the city to help enforce a 9 p.m. curfew, as protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police continued in the streets.


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While the downtown protests were miles from McAtee’s eatery, law enforcement fired pepper balls toward the parking lot and restaurant to disperse the crowd. Video released by Louisville Police appears to show McAtee firing a gun from the door of his restaurant as officers fired projectiles and approached the restaurant, police said

Authorities said both the National Guard and Louisville police “returned fire” when McAtee fired his weapon. 

“So it’s clear, the fatal shot came from the National Guard...we have no doubt about that,” Brown said Tuesday. 

“I believe Mr. McAtee fired the first shot, paused, and then fired another shot,” Brown said, adding that McAtee shot in the direction of police officers. 

McAtee was hit in the chest and died at the scene. Brown said investigators recovered two shell casings from McAtee’s weapon and found gunshot residue on his body. 

A lawyer for McAtee’s family has called on investigators to release all video of the shooting, and Louisville police and state police are investigating the circumstances of the incident. 

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer terminated the city’s police chief following the shooting, because Louisville officers did not have body cameras on during the incident. The chief had already announced his retirement last month and was supposed to stay on the force until the end of June. 


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Published on Jun 10, 2020