New Orleans, LA – Security and bodycam footage captured the moment that an enraged gunman opened fire on New Orleans police officers outside an apartment complex (video below).
The footage also showed some of the events leading up to the May 17 shootout.
The fatal encounter began at the Laguna Creek Apartments’ front office, when 40-year-old Donald Davis stormed in armed with a .45-caliber handgun, The Times-Picayune reported.
One of Davis’ relatives later explained that Davis became upset after his key broke off in the door to his apartment.
“He was in a rage [for] about an hour,” Davis’ cousin, Broderika Parker, told The Times-Picayune.
Parker also said that Davis, who was not married, was yelling about his wife and “talking out of his head.”
The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) initially received a report that an armed subject had threatened someone inside the complex office, but the urgency of law enforcement’s response was downgraded after someone called back to report that Davis had left.
Security footage showed Davis as he walked out of the building with the gun gripped in his hand.
Police arrived at the office approximately 54 minutes later, and were getting back into their patrol cars to head to Davis’ apartment when they spotted him walking towards them, NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said.
The irate suspect began yelling and pointed his weapon at the officers, who scrambled back out of their patrol vehicles to confront the advancing gunman, the video showed.
“Shoot me!” he yelled at them. “I dare you!”
The officers sought cover behind a black pickup as Davis opened fire. The bullet appeared to strike the vehicle the officers were using for cover.
Police returned fire, and Davis tried to flee before he ultimately fell to the ground with the gun still in his hand, bodycam footage showed.
“He didn’t give us a chance to say any words and trust us – we wish that he had,” Superintendent Ferguson told The Times-Picayune. “This didn’t have to turn out this way but, again, we were left with no other options.”
Davis was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officers involved in the gunfight were not injured.
Investigators determined Davis fired one round during the altercation, and that the three officers at the scene fired a total of 31 times.
Superintendent Ferguson said that he met with Davis’ family, who told him that Davis had struggled with mental health issues his whole life.
Superintendent Ferguson said that the officers responded appropriately when Davis opened fire on them, and that they will likely return to regular duties by Friday.
“In this case, while a life was unfortunately lost, we are confident our officers acted within departmental policies, and while difficult, they did what they had to do,” he said.
Davis previously served two probation terms for a multitude of charges, including attempting to disarm a police officer, illegally carrying a weapon, and possession of marijuana.
You can watch security and bodycam footage of the officers’ encounter with Davis in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: