The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has released video of a fatal shooting that shows a deputy firing several shots at an armed man fleeing from a backyard during a chase on foot.
The disclosure on Friday of the Oct. 16 shooting of Fred Williams III came after his family reviewed the footage from the deputy's body camera with the captain of the department's Century station, where the deputy was assigned, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The footage shows Williams, 25, on top of a garden shed, holding a gun while jumping over a fence, before he was shot. During the chase, the deputy said in radio communications that Williams “pointed 417 at me,” referring to a semi-automatic handgun that was later recovered by investigators.
The man’s father, Fred Williams Jr., told the newspaper the body camera footage shows his son was shot in the back.
“The video clearly shows there was never a gun pointed in (the deputy’s) direction,” he said.
The coroner’s office has not yet completed the full autopsy report but has determined that Williams died by a “gunshot wound of back,” according to its online records.
Detectives initially said Williams pointed a gun at the pursuing deputy before he was shot. But Matthew Burson, chief of the department's professional standards division, said in a recorded briefing Friday that the investigation was still in the early stages and that “our understanding of the incident may change as additional evidence is collected, analyzed and reviewed.”
The sheriff’s department said two deputies were conducting a patrol check in Willowbrook, south of downtown Los Angeles, because of recent shootings in the area when they noticed a man holding a gun while standing in a large group of people at a park.
The man, later identified as Williams, looked toward the deputies and ran away through a parking lot. One deputy chased after him on foot and followed him up a driveway and through the backyard, while the second deputy in the patrol car circled the block to contain him.
The department said Williams, who put the pistol in his pocket when he ran from the park, was on parole and prohibited from having a gun.
The shooting happened a day after two teenage boys were shot and killed while driving down a street in search of an address in the neighborhood, authorities said.