Tenn. woman disputes police shooting report: ‘Mentally ill’ fiancé was unarmed when cop killed him
Witnesses on Thursday contradicted a Memphis Police Department report which claimed that officers were forced to fatally shoot a mentally ill man because he armed.
According to Memphis Police Department spokesman Louis Brownlee, officers were called to the 30-year-old man’s home on Wednesday evening. Brownlee said that the man was shot after he pointed a shotgun at officers and refused to comply with their commands.
But on Thursday, the man’s fiancée told WHBQ-TV that she retrieved the shotgun from the bedroom after the officers asked if there was a weapon in the home.
“I was telling him, ‘Don’t shoot, don’t shoot, they here to help you,'” Debra Nesbit recalled. “I had the weapon in my hands. He came to get it back so I had the weapon in my hands. And it was down. It was not pointed at no officer, it was down beside him.”
“When the [officer] shot him, his back was turned,” she explained. “He fell to the ground and the weapon was still in my hand.”
WHBQ-TV reported that the man was shot twice in the back. He was later pronounced dead after being transported to a nearby hospital.
Natasha Lagaite, who identified herself as the man’s sister, said that the family called 911 for an ambulance to help the man.
“They escalated the situation,” Lagaite told WMC-TV. “We had it under control. He was calm.”
The case was turned over to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which has scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon.
Watch the video below from WHBQ-TV, broadcast March 24, 2016.