Courtesy LMPD
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By Bruce Schreiner and Rebecca Reynolds Yonker, AP

Video released by police shows a popular barbecue stand operator firing a gun as officers approached his business in Louisville shortly before he was shot to death, the city’s acting police chief said Tuesday.

The video showing David McAtee opening fire early Monday was obtained from security cameras at his business and another business, acting police Chief Robert Schroeder said. McAtee fired his gun while officers and National Guard soldiers were trying to clear a crowd from a parking lot to enforce a curfew, he said.

“This 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 (Food Mart) lot, were approaching his business,” Schroeder said. “This video does not provide all the answers. But we are releasing it to provide transparency.”

Among the unresolved questions: why he opened fire and where were police, Schroeder said.

Police said they were responding to gunfire from the crowd. Two Louisville officers and two Guard soldiers returned fire, Schroeder said Monday.

McAtee was shot early Monday amid waves of protests in the Kentucky city since last week. But witnesses said the crowd had nothing to do with the demonstrations.

The demonstrations were set off by the deaths of a black woman from Louisville — Breonna Taylor — and a black man in Minneapolis — George Floyd — in encounters with police.

A Louisville pastor said Tuesday that the community ultimately needs to see the “full analysis” of circumstances that led to McAtee’s death and not rely solely on the video.

“We would like to get all of the facts and not just some of the facts,” said the Rev. Frank Smith Jr., president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition.

Smith, who had not yet seen the video, added: “I would not see that he, … on his own, would just decide to start shooting at the officers who were there. I’d like to know were there other shooters? What provoked whatever shooting that took place? And so that’s why we would like to get the full picture and not just part of the picture.”

McAtee shooting louisville
Courtesy LMPD

McAtee was well known in the community and was friendly with officers, even providing them meals.

The video did not have audio and it was unclear from watching who or what McAtee fired at, but Louisville police Maj. Paul Humphrey said it appeared that he fired at police.

The conflict occurred as officers fired pepper balls to disperse the crowd, Humphrey said. The video shows officers speaking to people near McAtee’s business, he said. Why officers approached them is part of the investigation, he said.

“As the officers are addressing those individuals, Mr. McAtee appears to fire at the officers and they take cover and return fire,” he said. “But without the audio and without having interviewed the officers yet, that is yet to be determined exactly how those incidents occurred.”

He declined to say if a gun was recovered from McAtee, saying that will come out in the investigation.

Witnesses said people were not gathered there to protest.

Kris Smith said he was at a restaurant — “just outside having a good time, having drinks, eating barbecue” — when the soldiers arrived.

“As soon as I walk to my car they jump out with the sticks, the police jump out with their sticks and their shields and stuff on,” Smith said. “It looked like something out of a movie. It looked like a freaking war zone.”

On Monday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the firing of Police Chief Steve Conrad after he learned that officers involved in the shooting failed to activate body cameras at the scene. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear later called the lack of body camera footage unacceptable.

Beshear authorized state police to independently investigate, promising the probe will be conducted in an “honest and transparent way that will not take months.”

Late Monday afternoon, a huge group stretching several city blocks marched peacefully from downtown Louisville to the spot where McAtee was shot. Some motorists honked horns and raised fists in solidarity.

Hundreds of protesters regrouped Monday night at downtown Jefferson Square and riot police advanced amid bursts of fired tear gas, dispersing the crowd. Military-style vehicles could later be seen occupying the emptied-out square.

Louisville’s curfew has been extended until June 8.

Protesters have been demanding justice for Taylor, who was killed in her home in Louisville in March. The 26-year-old EMT was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door as they attempted to enforce a search warrant. No drugs were found in the home.

Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer put his knee on the handcuffed man’s neck for several minutes, even after he stopped moving and pleaded for air.

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  1. If he was the one shooting at police, I don’t know why the police didn’t immediately share that with the media.

    Louisville LE is doing a bang up job, not activating body cameras (in the middle of a riot!) and shooting the wrong innocent people at the wrong house to start with.

      • Yeah. It looks like the cops went on to his property and shot his customers with less lethal before he fired a shot from his open carry handgun. Then the police officer that shot the people with less lethal opened up on the crowd and the military joined in.

        The argument here is it moral to shoot an aggressive officer who is coming onto your property while assaulting you and others?

        He was on his private property keeping it safe and feeding the community. They were the aggressor on him and his customers.

        Where is the constitution on this? Where is private property rights?

        • Chief Censor,

          Where is the Constitution and property rights? They go right out the window when government employees utter the magic incantations “compelling government interest” or “public safety”.

          Note that I am simply stating the way that it is and I do not support that arrangement.

        • Maybe the cops in Louisville take “social distancing” more seriously than those in other cities….

        • @CCNP

          He was minding his business literally. The cop shot them first with pepper balls while they were on private property. The man was protecting his business from the rioters and looters.

          Stop blaming the victim. The constitution and human rights are still valid in peace time, there is no declared war.

        • @Chief Censor Your definition of “minding his business” is shooting at police and soldiers enforcing curfew amidst a riot?

        • @CCNP

          He was there with other open carriers cooking food. I don’t know why he shot. It doesn’t look like he knew it was the police shooting at his business.

          Do you want the man to go home and let his business be set on fire and looted? Does the man not have the right to protect his property? Must he go home because a police officer told him so? Are the police going to save his business?

          These guys are not going home.

        • There are no property rights. The government can take it anytime they want under eminent domain. And we don’t own our property; we pay rent in the form of real estate taxes. Don’t pay them and you’ll find out quickly who really owns your property. Constitution? It’s is almost dead in this country.

        • No. It looks like people were using his shop as cover because the police were pushing them back. So a non lethal shot was fired in their direction to keep them inside, and some idiot decided it was a good idea to fire back at them with lethality? Sorry… I can support firing at them to protect peaceful people, but in the midst of a riot, if you are out and about, you are not peaceful. These protests are providing shelter for those who only seek to incite violence. I don’t agree with the police in majority of situations, but this one… only a moron would put those people seeking shelter at risk by firing back at police the way he did… one armed, hanging out the doorway. Easy target to anyone with that doorway painted.

  2. At some point, you’re known by the company you keep. The peaceful protestors are becoming defined by the rioters and ANTIFA types. No leaders, no quantifiable demands. The intent seems to be disrupt and destroy. If they care about their cause, the need to clean it up – it’s already way past due.

    • Just need to push the “clean up the protest” button to make ANTIFA and/or right-wing extremist rioters disappear, but they refuse to push it.

      • Right wing extremists? You must be watching a different set of riots… All I see are commie provocateurs and willfully ignorant masses willing to loot on demand. No Gadsden flag waving bubbas are burning down their cities right now. It’s all commies and ignorant masses that have benefited from the state indoctrination camps and cannot think for themselves.

        • Odin is a commie? I thought he was a Norse sky daddy.

          “Facebook said Tuesday that it had shut down pages and accounts associated with what it said was a hate group, whose members were discussing bringing weapons to the protests that are happening across the country.

          The company said it had observed people associated with the group American Guard discussing such action.
          The group says it is about American constitutional nationalism, but the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says American Guard “has a background with connections to anti-immigrant extremism, hatred, and violence. Indeed, before the American Guard was the American Guard, it was actually the Indiana chapter of a group called the Soldiers of Odin USA, a branch of an extreme anti-immigrant and anti-refugee group that originated in Finland in 2015 and has spread to many other countries.”

        • So minor49 you have proof of them leading riots in Louisville? Oh wait this just another of your BS non-sequiturs that has nothing to do with anything.

    • Are the cops known by the company they keep as well? Only a few bad cops, but instead of being totally unconnected to them, as protesters are to the violent rioters, cops protect each other

    • “At some point, you’re known by the company you keep.”

      That applies to police TOO, right?

      Which is what this is all about…..

  3. They were shooting the people outside the business with pepper balls when the owner fired back. The soldiers and police then opened fire on the crowd stuck at the door way.

    I heard comments from Republicans that said they would fire back with a real gun if police shot them on their property with less lethal. Well, now you see what happens when you do that.

    • Yeah it’s a bad idea. I don’t suggest it unless you’re into the whole suicide by cop thing.

      • Speaking of suicide by cops. Someone put on their body armor, grabbed all his guns and tried to take on the police. A cop was shot in the head (not sure if in the same shooting).

    • Pepper balls arent deadly force. He’s also able to see its the police/NG so again…deadly force isnt necessary or advised. Defending one’s property is fine but the police arent there to loot and burn the business only to try and maintain control and clear rioters. Shooting at them is a good way to get shot back at and was stupid to do so. Better to have just engaged them rationally. But you do you.

      • You are arguing from your perspective from videos and hindsight. You don’t know what he saw and why he did what he did. You have no clue what the people running into the store said.

        You are defending an officer that committed a felony assault which lead to a shooting that caused someone’s death. That is manslaughter.

        The man was well liked and he had a good connection with officers. He used to feed them. He isn’t a cop hating thug, at least from what I hear cops say.

        • He was a lovely man, well liked and admired……
          Who fired a gun at armed police and soldiers.

          I guess the cops didn t have a chance to verify what a great guy he was even he was shooting at them.

          And armchair quarterbacks weigh in.

        • You may want to apply that logic to both sides. So stop being prejudiced. You know the word you idiots mean when you say “racist”.

        • I’m gonna take a wild guess here and postulate that blood alcohol level might have been a contributing factor to his error in judgement.

  4. A bbq, and police brought the pepper…no mention of a legal firearm, legal possession, etc… you now like every time a white guy shoots an intruder in their home gets mentioned, even mentioning irrelevant details like…”and the owner had a CCW….” Maybe Hillary’s response is most appropriate for answering why. ” Maybe it was just some guys out for a walk….who cares?” And, no social distancing how dare they?

  5. Dont matter who he was shooting at or why, if the scumbags hadn’t been roioting, it wouldn’t have happened! End of story.

    • Lol dumbass they were people eating and hanging out at a restaurant. They were not “rioting”

      • He must have seen their skin color and assumed they were criminals open carrying holstered handguns while eating some meat.

        • Don’t be racist. I didn’t see anybody but you bring up skin color. You’re obviously a lefty and all lefties seem overly concerned with someone’s skin color. This isn’t the liberal gun club and there’s probably less racists commenting here (lefty trolls aside) than anywhere in the web. I bet 80% of us would vote for whoever promised to protect gun rights no matter their color or whatever. This is why ultimately the logically based argument eventually wins and most people come to the right with age and experience.

        • You are the only one here mentioning skin color. Get over it. Most Americans don’t care.

  6. No more free meals for cops from him. Another business permanently closed and people out of work.

    Were those cops firing pepperballs at people peaceably assembling and minding their own business there? Kinda sorta like cops in Minnesota did the other day by shooting pepperballs at people on their porch standing in their doorway?

    It must be generally less threatening to shoot pepperballs at locals minding their own business than engaging looters and rioters.

    • Your gun rights, property rights and right to self defense is on the line here.

    • Melania‘s message is ”I don’t really care, u?”

      I guess when they come for you I won’t really care about it.

      • Actually her message was directed at the MSM as in, Hey, fuck you, I don’t care what you say or think about me but apparently it means something to you… Don’t be a shill for FAKE news, get it right or leave it alone…

        • Thanks for your reply, but I was replying to Chris Brown statement above:

          “I cannot bring my self to care….. “

          And Melania has never explained the meaning of her message, I’d love to hear it from her.

          • Actually she did explain on the 2nd day of the trip to Africa her spokesperson told the media EXACTLY what that jacket meant after months of criticism of her (A fucking International fashion model) choices of clothing…. Probably didn’t get much play on Yahoo News, MSDNC or the Clinton News Network….

        • Actually, it was directed at Ivanka, but you keep on being wrong buddy and propagating something literally disproved 🙂

      • That was probably made by a gay leftist fashion designer but read into it why don’t you.

  7. “A Louisville pastor said Tuesday that the community ultimately needs to see the “full analysis” of circumstances that led to McAtee’s death and not rely solely on the video…”

    While I agree I can’t help but notice that this same sentiment is rarely shared by the same people when there is a video of a police officer using force against a black suspect.

    In any case, I don’t know what the deceased man was doing there, but don’t go out shooting during a riot. Stay inside and defend from there.

    • There was not riot there. There was a peaceful protest that was broken up. The cops and military were out to dominate the civilian population to enforce the “curfew.”

      One white, overweight officer, was shooting people with a paintball gun loaded with pepper balls. He went onto the property of the owner of the BBQ business to shoot the customers too. The owner fired a round. For what reason? We will likely never know. Then the cops pulls his gun and fires multiple rounds at the crowd and the military join in.

      Now the owner of the business, who was cooking meat before the shooting, is dead for defending his customers from the assault by the state enforcers.

      It didn’t seem he fired at a person. He might have fired into the air twice, based on the audio and video.

      From what I seen so far, I consider this to be murder by the police and National Guard.

      • Sure, whatever, don’t go out and shoot during a “peaceful protest.”

        You can consider it whatever you want but no judge will agree. If you start shooting a gun at a paintball fight you have turned it into a gunfight.

        I have no sympathy for the officer currently charged with murder for Floyd’s death. Not only because he made a mistake, not only because he kept making it despite lots of time to stop, but because he made it under no immediate threat. The most ridiculous part of the incident was the whole thing was senseless.

        When someone comes out and starts shooting, that is not a similar situation. Even if some random criminals (which is probably how you describe the police) start shooting paintballs at people it does not justify deadly force.

        • You don’t know why he shot. He may have thought it was someone shooting at his store. He was inside when everyone came running in. They could have said someone is shooting. Then he assumed it was bad guys with guns. He did appear to fire into the air.

          In a justice society the cop who broke the law, which provoked the shooting, would be charged with manslaughter. He can’t claim self defense when committing a felony assault on innocent people on their own property.

          But in America the constitution is just a piece of paper.

          By the way, they arrested all the open carriers on the property and didn’t turn on their body cams.

      • Yet he had no duty to defend his customers from non lethal action with a lethal response. You also mention others were openly carrying yet none of them decided to draw down on the police and NG. Your argument is very flawed.

        • The owner was inside the building and the others were sitting outside. The other open carriers saw who was coming as they were being shot at. The owner didn’t see because the people were rushing into the building for cover. The owner looks to have fried into the air to scare off whoever was outside. When he had an opportunity to look outside he was shot in the chest.

      • It’s not clear to me the military was involved in this. It’s very very rare for the military to be issued live rounds outside of combat. The national guard is not really seal team six. Lot’s of irrelevant MOS’s in the guard as far as civil disturbances go.

    • Yeah Sleepy Joe next will tell us the “protest” (riot) was WAYYYYY over there on the other side of the street/down the block/next building down.

  8. So guy mistakes cops dressed in that “intimidating” black shit just like the bad guys and now he’s dead and they’re not…..

  9. No idea what he did what he did.

    Pretty sad considering the guy’s past suggests he probably wasn’t a thug or anti cop… but really rather predictable too.

  10. The cops should have asked, “Pardon us, sir, but are you firing at us?” before unloading on the guy. And then they should have shot Joe Biden in the leg.

    • What IS the detail on this leg shot plan? I suspect the progs would be totally unhinged by a kneecapping (“torture” don’t you know). Are you to shoot in the meat of the thigh or below the knee in the bones. Or perhaps just into the foot?

      Required to use a laser sight to insure accurate placement? Or must use shotty with #7?

      • I know you’re being facetious, but the only way to reliably immobilize someone by shooting (or otherwise injuring) them in the leg is to cause a complete fracture of the tibia, or to shatter one of the major bones of the foot (e.g. the talus.) Shooting someone in the knee or thigh is more likely to cause fatal bloodloss than immobilization. While painful, no single bone or muscle injury in those areas will cause total loss of bipedal mobility, and a severed femoral is about as bad as it gets in terms of rapid, hard to control bleeding (except, of course, the jugular/carotid, and the brachial in the torso, which is why it’s also pure Hollywood to shoot someone in the shoulder to make them drop a gun or something.)

        Anyway, yeah, anyone saying a gun can/should be used to incapacitate without killing has no idea what they’re talking about. A truly god-like shot could (permanently) disable someone with three or four inhumanly precise hits, but in real life there’s just no way.

        • Don’t really need to be god like with a duckbill & #4 buck. ‘Course you’ve got substantially less effective range, but under the almost can’t miss even on a moving target at close range category. Legging suddenly becomes very viable, ‘cept their liable to have at least one detachable leg afterwards…

          Naw, don’t have one myself, but I do have the tech drawings & the patent for one a particular spec ops detachment were enamored with. For posterity’s sake, you understand. :p

  11. Why is there a police patrol patrolling in a neighborhood like its a combat zone? They’re dressed as If they’re going to war? And why did they pepper spray people sitting on stools eating BBQ???
    I don’t see a threat to the police at all. But the civilian was wrong. As far as I can tell he violated firearms safety rule #4. You I.D. your target and clear the backstop. He was firing blind. Because If he was aiming at a target he would have hit one of the officers.

    • “And why did they pepper spray people sitting on stools eating BBQ???”

      Maybe the BBQ sauce was too mild.

    • Your’s is the best take on this thing I’ve yet read. Does not appear to be any reason for the officers to attack those people. The camera angles don’t capture enough of where the owner was, if he even knew it was police. Could well be he made a terrible mistake, panicked thinking some thugs were shooting at his customers and he failed to identify before spraying bullets.

      It looks that way, but it just isn’t clear why the cops or the owner did what they did.

      • Thanks for complement. I think if he had landed his bullets on the cops he would still be alive. Everyone needs to train. The cops would have been distracted looking after their wounded. Then the police would have to explain why they shot at people who were not a threat.

        • “The cops would have been distracted looking after their wounded. Then the police would have to explain why they shot at people who were not a threat.”

          I don’t think so, the cops would have had reasons to shoot back, and they would have. The only difference is the business owner would have hurt some before dying.

        • to M
          What stops the police is accurate handgun fire. Demonstrating that you can hit a moving target is proof that you are a serious danger and immediate threat to the cops. Even if its just their body armor that you hit. This is why I said everyone needs to train. That will force them to retreat ASAP. They will reassess the situation, tend to any wounded and negotiate with whoever is inside the building. This will defuse the current fears of everyone.

          We as gun owners can’t control police marksmanship. But you are obligated as a lawful gun owner to hit what you are shooting at. And the best way to do that is to train. At least once a month. Or Every other month when time and money is an issue. Its your moral responsiblity as a gun owner.

    • Because 1st lesson in cop college is BE AGGRESSIVE. When you’re unsure of yourself and feeling intimidated by the situation DOUBLE DOWN ON AGGRESSIVE/”take charge”. Of sumpin.

      Tase it, shoot it, or arrest it. The only nails in their playbook.

  12. More folks are going to die. I think too many haven’t realized yet this is real life, you don’t “respawn” on the map when you get killed by a guy in the other team, this isn’t call of duty idiots! Most blacks are just following, Antifa and the likes are those who need to drop, if it takes our armed forces so be it, drop some of them, send the rest in front of a real judge. If not, armed law abiding citizen might start getting more involved, it will be a purge.

    • Yup. So fucked it’s actually stymied my attempts to create a playlist for the first time ever.

      Eh, at least I know where to start…

  13. While ALL of the investigation and discussion will be about McAtee being shot, personally I am more concerned that four people (two LMPD officers, two KyNG soldiers) fired 18 live rounds into a crowd, resulting in one fatal hit and one minor peripheral wound (almost certainly by accident). I would be very interested in seeing the individual statements from the four shooters to see if all (or any) of them could articulate why they fired and exactly who they fired at.

  14. I’m not going to add any conjecture to who was right or wrong in this situation. I really haven’t read much more about the shooting than this article. But something does stand out to me. Mr. McAtee was shot as I understand it early Monday morning. As of Tuesday when the police held a press conference the officers involved still had not been “interviewed”. Think about that for a minute. Would an average citizen be given that long to gather their thoughts and recollections about a shooting they were involved in? Not likely.

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

    • An ‘average citizen’ is, in effect, ‘given’ FOREVER to gather their thoughts and recollections about any incident in which they are involved, as they cannot be compelled to give a statement against their will, nor can they be compelled to give any statement against self-interest.

      The citizen who DOES make a statement, despite reams of legal precedence and advice to the contrary, is a fool–which, of course, is what interviewing officers hope for. It’s in ‘How To Be A Detective,’ on page 49, complete with illustrations. ‘In custody’ by legal definition or not, an interviewer will always ASK for a statement; Not making one, either before or after ‘Miranda,’ carries no penalty at trial. However, most honest folks just go ahead and blurt things out, which can be a major mistake. Just say, ‘No, Thank you, Officer. I would prefer not to.’

      Under ‘Garrity,’ a police officer has the same right. When asked for a statement post-incident that just COULD be against self-interest, he also gets a ‘Garrity Warning,’ which advises him that he is not compelled to speak, that if he does so what he says cannot be used as evidence against him criminally , but that it CAN be used in interdepartmental proceedings, and further that not speaking in itself cannot result in departmental punishment. It’s ‘Miranda’ for cops.

      With ‘Garrity,’ the appropriate choice for a cop these days is to NOT say anything, and to let all of the other keen investigators, detectives, and forensics fellows provide the evidence for or against him, instead of possibly providing some of it himself. It IS their job, is it not?

      Makes sense, doesn’t it?

  15. So a bunch of assholes were shooting people at a restaurant with paintball guns and took offense at return fire?

  16. The lesson here, is if you make the decision for whatever reason to fire shots in the direction of Police, you should probably expect them to shoot you. This guy’s customers were safe inside and he decided to go back and shoot out the door. Being that big of a dumbass can be fatal. FYI, ANY TIME that less lethal options like gas, pepperballs, sock rounds, or rubber ballistics are deployed, they are supported by lethal force options. In addition, when you have violent rioters hiding behind peaceful protestors the cops have to move EVERYONE, because they don’t have the time, manpower, or desire to sort them out. If peaceful protestors don’t want to be mistaken for violent rioters, they shouldn’t let them use them as shields.

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