Independent monitor reveals initial findings in fatal police shooting

Independent monitor reveals initial findings in fatal police shooting

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Orleans Parish coroner is out with a preliminary ruling in the fatal police shooting Tuesday of a 21-year-old at New Orleans East store,  calling it homicide.

And though police haven't released police body cam video, it has been reviewed by the police monitor.

"All the officers had body cam footage, but only one picked up the shooting itself," said New Orleans Independent Police Monitor Ursula Price.

Jared Johnson was killed in a barrage of gunfire from two New Orleans police officers as he was attempting to flee the Dollar General on Chef Highway after a robbery. The coroner's office said Johnson died from "multiple gunshot wounds, one of which pierced his heart and lung, causing fatal internal bleeding." The coroner also said some of the entry wounds were from the front, some from the back.

"We are awaiting ballistics evidence," said Price. "It is possible for a person to be shot in the front, and from the impact start spinning."

The independent police monitor said due to recent police shootings, it's changing its strategy.

"We normally wait, but in light of what's going on nationwide, we want to be more transparent," Price said.

The police monitor reviewed images from as many as 40 different cameras, including several police body cams.

"It shows them coming out, and it shows some of the shooting, and what happens after the shooting in terms of how the officers handle safety and the victim himself," Price said.

But Price said the one key body cam video is extremely dark.

"It's possible what we saw was a gun, but it's not clear to me right now - and a gun was recovered from the scene," she said.

The gunfire erupted at the rear of the store, and though police have images from the body camera, it may be a while before the public gets to see it.

"There are people who haven't been questioned, and I would prefer their interviews before the video is released so it doesn't taint the interview," Price said.

The women inside the store feared for their lives.

"They are very shaken by the experience, and they weren't sure if they were going to go home that night," Price said.

And though the police monitor said their initial review shows some problems with police training issues, so far, the officers' tactics appear sound.

The coroner's office says the homicide classification is "preliminary." The office points out that the homicide designation, does not imply criminal intent or legal blame.

A judge set bail at $600,000 for Spencer Banks and Halbert Adams, two suspects in the case.

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