The sheriff’s department Friday evening released body camera footage of a deputy fatally shooting a 25-year-old Black man who was running away from deputies while armed with a handgun in Willowbrook.
The footage shows the man, identified by the coroner’s office as Fred Williams III, on top of a garden shed with a firearm in his hand, as he jumps into the yard of another property, at which point the deputy shoots him.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department claims Williams pointed a gun at the deputy, but that allegation is not clear in the footage.
The victim’s father, Fred Williams Jr., told the Los Angeles Times Friday, “the video clearly shows there was never a gun pointed in (the deputy’s) direction.”
A full autopsy report has not been completed, but the coroner’s office has reported that Williams was shot in the back.
The shooting occurred about 5:30 p.m. Oct. 16 after deputies saw Williams holding a handgun and standing with a group of about 15 people in the area of Mona Park, when he allegedly put a handgun into his waistband and ran away.
One deputy pursued him on foot and another deputy followed in a patrol car, according to the sheriff’s department.
Photos released by the sheriff’s department shows Williams with a handgun at his waist as he runs through the yard of a residence in the 2200 block of East 122nd Street.
The sheriff’s department alleges that Williams “engaged the deputy by pointing his firearm at him at which point a deputy involved shooting occurred.”
The footage shows the deputy shooting Williams while Williams was on top of the yard’s garden shed and jumping into the other yard. A handgun is visible in his hand.
On the footage, the deputy, who at the time did not know if Williams was struck by gunfire, broadcasts on his emergency radio that the suspect jumped into another yard, and the deputy says he “pointed (firearm) at me.”
Williams sustained a gunshot wound to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the sheriff’s department.
Deputies recovered a loaded pistol, which the department said is not registered to Williams, who was on parole and prohibited from owning a firearm. He had been convicted three times of burglary, the sheriff’s department reported.
“Homicide investigators will continue to investigate this incident by completing additional interviews, examining additional evidence and toxicology results, and completing forensic reviews of the involved evidence,” said Matt Burson, chief of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Professional Standards Division.
The investigation will then be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for review.
Deputies at the Century Station, along with four other stations, received the department’s first batch of body-worn cameras and started wearing them in the field on Oct. 1, according to the sheriff’s department.