NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The family of a man who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in New Orleans East on Monday disputes the NOPD's account of what happened.
"To me, it's just a bold face lie because I know the person I grew up with. I know the person who I shared a room with. I know the person who would always make me laugh, and I know my brother," Johnaj Stansberry said.
According to the NOPD, McKinnis was stopped for a license plate violation, and the incident was captured on the officer's body camera.
"We saw the video. The video was very clear. Our officer fired rounds, but there was a shot fired that prompted him to do that," NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said.
The NOPD says McKinnis first fired a single shot in the direction of NOPD officer Frederick Carter, and Carter returned five rounds.
McKinnis was shot twice and died.
"I don't believe it. I don't believe that he would do something like that," Stansberry said.
McKinnis' family said he enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from Booker T. Washington. He served eight years, including two stints in Iraq.
"People really need to know that he served our country, and my brother was a beautiful person. I do not believe for one second that he would come at a cop like that, period," Stansberry said.
McKinnis was the father of three children, a 9-year-old daughter and two boys. His family said he was working as a security guard.
"That's what I'm saying, the stuff that he did was to protect people, so that's why I say it just doesn't add up to me," Stansberry said.
The Army veteran was described as a very private person. His criminal history includes one arrest back in 1999 for aggravated battery, but the charges were refused.
"It's under investigation. We are not ready to draw a conclusion yet," Harrison said.
McKinnis died on the scene, and police say they did find a gun next to his body.