A seven minute, 41-second video of the fatal police shooting of an alleged carjacker Friday has collected almost 17,000 views with over 102 comments since it was posted hours after the event.
DeShund Tanner, 31, was shot and killed about 7 a.m. Friday after reports he chased a man with a handgun at a gas station and later tried to carjack two different cars in a restaurant drive-thru.
Louis Browning was driving a taxi Friday morning when he was stopped on Connector Road near the entrance to the McDonald’s restaurant.
“I noticed a police officer with flashing lights come up behind me,” Browning said. “I slammed on brakes to keep from hitting him broadside as he turned into the McDonald’s. I saw they had the road blocked ahead and then someone knocked on my car and told me to stay put.”
As he sat in his car, just feet from where the incident took place, Browning said he could see everything. He said he saw the black pickup truck followed by two police cruisers enter the McDonald’s parking lot, and then a man “speed walking” around the building, open a car door and push his way into the vehicle. Moments later a youth exited the backdoor of the car and then a woman exited the front passenger door and run to a police officer, he said.
“(The police officers) kept shouting, ‘show me your hands’, “Browning said. “Then shots rang out. I estimate there were 20-to-30 rounds fired.”
Browning, a U.S. Navy veteran said he posted the video because of “unanswered questions.” He originally posted the video to a private YouTube page at about 9 a.m. Friday, but a Lexington TV station asked that he make it public so they could use the video footage. He made the video public at about 3 p.m. and within a short time the views began piling up.
“I posted it because there are a lot of unanswered questions in my mind,” Browning said. “There were too many people around. Why did they have to fire so many shots? I understand they have to contain the situation, but there were so many shots fired. The bullets could have ricocheted off the brick and concrete and hit someone else.
“I’m amazed no one else was hit. There was too much going on.”
Georgetown Police Chief Michael Bosse said posting the video was irresponsible and most people have no idea how they would respond in such a situation.
“People take a small piece of information and they feel comfortable expressing their opinion,” Bosse said. “Posting this video and others making comments on social media are damaging to the human beings who have to go through this.
The officers are trained on how to respond in such critical situations, but they are also human, Bosse said.
“They have to make a critical decision in a critical moment,” he said. “They do this knowing they are going to be second guessed by a small group of people. So many people take a small piece of information and then express their opinions without all the information.”
Browning said he has respect for the police and is knowledgable about guns.
“Don’t get me wrong, I support the police,” he said. “I have respect for the police. But there were officers all around the car. It’s about public safety. You can’t control where that bullet goes.”
The volley of shots shown in the video is the second round fired at the suspect, he said.
“In my opinion he was dead when he hit the ground,” Browning said. “Why the second round?”
Bosse said after Tanner was originally shot he held onto the gun and raised it at the officers while on the ground, which led to the second volley of shots.
Although Browning was heard joking and laughing in the video, he said he was disturbed by what he saw.
“I watched them kill this man,” Browning said, his voice cracking.
Browning’s fiancée, Jessica Chapman agreed, the incident was haunting.
“I can hear the distress in his voice,” she said.
Bosse said he understands the questions, but police had reports of a man chasing another with a handgun and then Tanner attempted to carjack an occupied vehicle and raised the gun at police officers twice.
“They had to make a critical decision in a moment,” he said.
No one else was injured in the incident.
Tanner’s body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. It typically takes 60-to-90 days before a full autopsy report is released.
The Kentucky State Police Critical Incident Response Team is investigating the incident at the request of the Georgetown Police Department. The GPD will routinely study its response, as well. All officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, which is routine procedure.
Mike Scogin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.