Louisville police release video of moments surrounding fatal shooting of David McAtee

Elisha Fieldstadt
·2 min read

The Louisville Police Department on Tuesday released surveillance video appearing to show the moments when a man was shot dead after police officers and the Kentucky National Guard “returned fire” while clearing a large crowd early Monday.

WARNING: This video contains disturbing images.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Monday identified the man who died as David McAtee.

Louisville officers and the National Guard were sent to a parking lot to break up a crowd at around 12:15 a.m., according to a police statement. Officers were "shot at" at some point while trying to clear the area and returned fire, leaving one person dead.

In a statement Monday morning, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said that "LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard returned fire resulting in death," and that he had asked the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the shooting.

Image: Louisville Metro Police Department (Louisville Metro Police Dept.)
Image: Louisville Metro Police Department (Louisville Metro Police Dept.)

The videos released Tuesday — one from McAtee’s YaYa’s BBQ Shack and another from an adjacent business — appear to show the moment that the shooting occurred.

In the video from inside the restaurant, several people are seen coming and going from what appears to be the back of the establishment into an alleyway. Towards the end of the video, a group of people rush in. A man presumed to be McAtee then falls to the ground.

In the video from the adjacent business, the man presumed to be McAtee is seen tending to a series of grills in an alleyway. A group of people then rush into a door in the alley, and armed individuals appearing to be police or soldiers surround the entrance to the alley. Towards the end of the video, the armed individuals repeatedly shoot at the door.

Officials said McAtee fired a gun before he was shot dead.

“This is going to be difficult," Fischer said at the beginning of the news conference where he showed the videos, according to NBC affiliate WAVE. The day before, Fischer had acknowledged that "David was a friend to many, a well-known barbecue man that nurtured so many people in their bellies and their hearts before."

“This is a difficult piece of the story to process, but I believe in transparency,” Fischer said. He added that he showed the video to McAtee's mother before releasing it to the public.

“Mr. McAtee appears to fire at the officers and they take cover and return fire, but without audio ... that is yet to be determined," said Maj. Paul Humphrey. The investigation into the shooting is still just beginning, officials said.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad was relieved of duty Monday after it was revealed that the officers involved in the shooting did not activate their body cameras.