WASHINGTON, D.C. — Body camera footage of the fatal Wednesday afternoon shooting of Deon Kay by Washington, D.C. police officers, appears to show the 18-year-old armed with a gun prior to the deadly shot being fired.
Kay’s death in a Southeast neighborhood at the hands of police prompted late-night skirmishes between social justice protesters and law enforcement. The officer who fired the fatal shot has been identified by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice as Alexander Alvarez, WTOP reported.
A Metropolitan Police Department statement released Thursday afternoon in tandem with the video explained that officers responding to a report of a man with a gun shortly after 3:45 p.m. spotted multiple people inside a parked vehicle, Fox News reported.
According to the statement, “Mr. Deon Kay exited the vehicle and began to run on foot,” prompting a foot chase by officers.
“An officer observed Mr. Kay brandish a firearm and subsequently the officer discharged his service weapon once, striking Mr. Kay in the chest,” the statement reads.
Police argued that, when viewed in slow motion, the footage shows Kay holding a firearm in his right hand immediately prior to the officer shooting him, Fox News reported.
During the news conference D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser called the shooting “tragic” before addressing Kay’s family, WTOP reported.
“Our community is hurting, and we know that they want answers,” Bowser said.
Police Chief Peter Newsham said during the news conference that officers saw Kay on a social media livestream prior to the encounter and knew him by name from previous contacts, the TV station reported.
Warning: The following video is the “community briefing” version, which has been edited, that police in Washington, D.C. made public during a news conference. A more complete version of the body camera footage can be found here. Some viewers may find the footage disturbing.
When asked by reporters how officers knew Kay, Newsham described Kay as a “validated gang member” who had “multiple touches” with law enforcement, WTOP reported.
“I’m pretty sure that Deon Kay fell through multiple safety nets before yesterday afternoon at just before 4 o’clock,” Newsham said.