police shooting

DC Police Release Body Camera Video of Officer Shooting Man in Car

"It’s very difficult to see what that officer is seeing. What did he perceive to be the threat at that point?” D.C.'s police chief said about the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Antwan Gilmore

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D.C. police released body camera footage Thursday of the fatal police shooting of a man in a car in Northeast after the department says officers initially found him armed, unconscious and blocking traffic. 

Antwan Gilmore was killed by an officer on New York Avenue NE. He was 27 and lived in Capitol Heights, Maryland. 

Gilmore was initially asleep when officers encountered him and was “awake at some point,” Metropolitan Police Department Chief of Police Robert Contee said at a news conference Thursday morning.

Footage published in an edited “community briefing” video from MPD shows the encounter from officers’ perspectives. 

The investigation into what happened is just beginning, Contee said. He said a ballistic shield being held by the officer who fired 10 shots — whose name was not released — makes it hard to see what he may have seen. 

“It’s very difficult to see through the lens of the officer, the one officer in this case that fired. It’s very difficult to see what that officer is seeing. What did he perceive to be the threat at that point?” Contee said, noting the department did not yet have a statement from the officer.

The police chief promised transparency and accountability. 

D.C. police shot and killed a man with a gun who was awakened by officers in a car early Wednesday in Northeast, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee said.

The five-and-a-half-minute video released by MPD shows several officers around Gilmore’s black BMW. They can be heard knocking on the windows and talking about a gun.

“I can’t see his hands,” one officer can be heard saying. 

The car suddenly moves forward and officers start shouting “Don’t move!” and “Police!” 

Then several shots are fired. 

A gun was found in Gilmore’s waistband, police said. Contee said he didn’t know if Gilmore ever removed the gun from his waistband. It remained there after the shooting, he said. 

MPD policy bars officers from firing at a moving vehicle, the police chief said.

In a statement late Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police Department laid out what they say happened. 

Fifth District officers were dispatched to Florida Avenue and New York Avenue NE at about 2:45 a.m. for a report of an unconscious person in a car occupying a traffic lane. 

When they arrived, they found Gilmore, who was “unresponsive” and had his foot on the brake of a running car. A handgun was visible in his waistband, police said. 

More officers were called to the scene, and “a ballistic shield was deployed.” 

Officers tried to talk with Gilmore. He “reacted” and pulled the car forward. Officers ordered him to stop the car and he did. 

“The driver then proceeded forward as an MPD member discharged their service weapon multiple times, striking the driver inside the vehicle,” police said. 

The car moved forward and came to rest in the unit block of New York Avenue NE.

Officers removed Gilmore from the car and began to try to save his life. Medics arrived and Gilmore was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser said she spoke with Gilmore’s family on Thursday. Both she and Contee expressed their condolences. 

District officials will undergo a “thorough investigation to determine if the officers acted lawfully and within their training,” Bowser said. 

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

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