Louisville police release video they say shows black restaurant owner shot at officers before he was killed

The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) released new video footage Tuesday that officials say shows a black restaurant owner shot at officers before he was killed while also noting the footage "does not provide all the answers."

Interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said in a press briefing that the new video “appears to show” David McAtee, the restaurant owner, “firing a gun outside of his business door” as officers approach.

McAtee, 53, was shot and killed early Monday as law enforcement was dispatched in the city to address the protests over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Police and the National Guard were responding to reports of a crowd that had gathered at Dino’s Food Market, the grocery store next to McAtee’s barbecue shack.

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"The video appears to show Mr. McAtee firing a gun outside of his business door as officers who are using pepper balls to clear the Dino's lot were approaching,” Schroeder said. “The video does not provide all the answers, but we are releasing it to provide transparency.”

The new video showcases the view from inside McAtee’s store, Yaya’s BBQ Shack. In the clip, McAtee and several others walk in and out of the building, with the owner appearing to hold a pair of tongs. 

After a crowd of people come into the store, McAtee leans out the door, comes back in and collapses on the ground. 

Another angle in the video shows law enforcement approaching his building before he was killed. Both clips do not have audio, which Schroeder said is typical of surveillance videos. 

LMPD Lt. Paul Humphrey agreed that McAtee “appears to fire at the officers” before they take cover and return fire.

“Without the audio and without having interviewed the officers yet, that is yet to be determined exactly how those incidents occurred,” Humphrey said.

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Humphrey said the video does not address questions such as whom McAtee was allegedly aiming at, why he had fired and how close he was to the officers. The reason officers were approaching the store is also being investigated, he said, as the officers obtain legal counsel before their interviews.

When asked whether a gun was found on McAtee, Humphrey said that would be revealed as the investigation continues. 

Mayor Greg Fischer (D) also tweeted out the video “in the name of transparency.”

Protests have ensued in the city in response to the deaths of Taylor, who was shot and killed by white police officers in her home in Louisville, and Floyd, who died after being detained by police in Minneapolis.

Fischer fired former LMPD Chief Steven Conrad after discovering the officers involved in the shooting did not have recorded body camera footage of the incident. Fischer and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) both condemned the lack of body camera footage.