NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Police Department will release body camera footage on Thursday of a fatal shooting that occurred almost two weeks ago. Zonell Williams, 33, was shot and killed by police after they said he opened fire on them, injuring one officer.
Williams was shot at the 2300 block of Orleans Avenue in Treme back on Jan. 4 after several units responded to a call of a suicide attempt.
According to NOPD Chief Michael Harrison, when police arrived, Williams began shooting at them and struck one officer in the chest multiple times. He was saved by his body armor.
When officers shot back, Williams was fatally injured and died later at the hospital. Both Harrison and Mayor LaToya Cantrell went to the scene that night and talked about the dangers officers face when responding to someone who may be mentally ill.
Cantrell recently made mental health a focal point in her plan to reduce crime in the city.
"This is life. We are all human beings. Our officers, as well as our citizens, and this is something that involved both,” Cantrell said.
Regular calls to ambiguous situations can be very danger to officers, according to criminologist Peter Scharf.
"The risks to a police officer are far greater in this situation then a SWAT call or an armed robbery car, a bank robbery, or anything else,” he said.
The NOPD plans to release the camera footage at 10 a.m. to help shed more light on how the shooting unfolded.