GRAPHIC: Police release gruesome body camera footage showing officers fatally shooting robbery suspect

WDRB 41 Louisville News

Body cams show Louisville officers shot at robbery suspect more than 20 times, killing him

WDRB 41 Louisville News A robbery suspect fleeing from police Tuesday was shot at more than 20 times and killed by three officers and one detective from Louisville Metro Police's First Division, according to police body camera videos.
The footage from three officers, played at a Wednesday news briefing, shows a brief foot pursuit by one officer, before other officers converge on the suspect, identified as Demonjhea Jordan, 21, of Jeffersonville, Indiana.

All three, plus a detective who was not wearing a body camera, fire their weapons at the suspect in the videos, including one officer who shoots five times through his squad car's windshield. Jordan later died at University of Louisville Hospital from gunshot wounds, according to Wayne Pryse, a Jefferson County deputy coroner.

Lt. Aaron Crowell of the department's public integrity unit said police believe Jordan also fired his weapon, citing "multiple sources of information" that lead them to that

The officers were responding to a description of an armed suspect who had fled on foot from a robbery scene at a Metro PCS store in the 2600 block of West Market St.

Officer Joshua Weyer located someone matching that description in the 400 block of N. 29th St. in the Portland neighborhood, about a mile from the Metro PCS store.

Footage shows Weyer attempting to engage the person, later identified as Jordan, who appears to be holding an object covered by what looks like a red cloth. Seconds later, the suspect flees and the red cloth falls to the ground, but Jordan is still holding an object that police say was a handgun.

Weyer appears to fire his weapon at Jordan about 17 times before chasing after him.

At least two other officers and one detective then locate him further down 29th Street, just south of the intersection with St. Xavier Street.

Those officers, Kody Despain and Benjamin Dean, as well as Det. Joseph Fox, also fire their weapons. Crowell said Wednesday that Jordan was struck multiple times.

"Where's he shot at?" one officer can be heard asking in the body cam footage.

"Everywhere. In the front, in the back, arm," another responds as they examine Jordan's bloody body to identify wound locations.

and those involved have been placed on administrative reassignment during the investigation.

One officer appears to think he was shot in the leg, but Crowell confirmed Wednesday that no officers were shot.

This is one of several incidents where an LMPD officer has shot a suspect in the past couple of months — described on Tuesday as "more than normal" by LMPD Chief Steve Conrad.

At the Wednesday press conference, Conrad defended the officers' use of deadly force, based on the preliminary investigation.

"Again, this is a dangerous job. We know that coming into the job," he said. "We hope and pray we never have to use deadly force, but this is a situation where officers were confronted with deadly force and they responded in a manner — at least based on the preliminary investigation — consistent with police, practices and training."

Responding to whether the number of shots fired was excessive, Conrad said officers are able to "use force, in this case deadly force, to protect themselves and others from death or serious physical injury."

"That said, as you are firing those shots as a police officer, you are going to have to account for those shots," he said, referring to training that instructs officers to think about what is beyond the target.

Since 2012, the department has averaged around five such cases per year. Jordan's case marks fourth this year by on-duty officers.

Russell Bowman, 45, was shot and killed on April 8 after police said he was acting erratically. Body camera footage showed him pacing in front of a Pleasure Ridge Park home with a screwdriver in his hand.

An interaction with officers ensued, where deployed tasers didn't work correctly. Bowman then lunged at an officer, body camera footage showed, and officers fired their weapons numerous times.

A little more than a week before, on March 31, officers shot and wounded Elijah Eubanks, 20, after he pointed a weapon at them when ordered to get out of a car.

Two other men were shot and killed by a police officer in February in an incident stemming from a narcotics investigation that also left a narcotics detective wounded.

Police provided personnel files for the officers involved in Tuesday's incident.

Dean, who has been with the department since September 2014, has no disciplinary actions and four commendations. Despain, who joined in September 2013, has seven commendations and no serious disciplinary actions.

Fox, who has been with LMPD since September 2013, has 14 commendations and a sustained violation of department policy involving a police pursuit. Weyer, who joined in September of 2014, has seven commendations and a few sustained violations, including involving his use of his body camera, taser and vehicle.