Fort Worth police showed bodycam video Thursday of a fatal officer-involved shooting where a man reportedly ran from police and pulled out a gun when they tried to question him about a recent murder case.
During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Fort Worth interim Chief of Police Ed Kraus said Amari Malone was spotted at the scene of a murder on Aug. 5 with a pistol. He added that Malone was later determined to be a person if interest in the case and that detectives wanted to speak with him about the shooting.
On Wednesday, officers learned Malone may have been in the area and officers with the Special Response Team went to see if he could be located. When officers arrived on the 5800 block of Boca Raton Boulevard they spotted Malone and asked to speak with him. That's when police said he took off running.
In bodycam video played by Kraus Thursday afternoon, the man can clearly be seen running away from officers and turning toward them with what appears to be a gun in his hand. Kraus then showed a picture of the gun police said they recovered at the scene.
As the officers yelled out, "gun, gun," Kraus said four officers fired multiple rounds at the man, who was hit one time.
Kraus said officers provided first aid until medics arrived and transported him to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. No officers were injured in the shooting.
Attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Malone's mother, has identified the deceased man as Amari Malone, an 18-year-old man he said was shot in the back and is a murder victim, not a murder suspect. Merritt said witnesses he spoke with refuted the police account of what took place and said Malone was not armed and was not threatening.
At a press conference later in the day on Thursday, Merritt said he now believes Malone was armed but was carrying a gun for his own protection.
Merritt also cautioned jumping to conclusions based on the bodcam video.
“I noticed the Fort Worth Police Department used still images to confirm what they believe is Amari pointing the gun. I've seen videos misused that way before," Merritt said.
Kraus said Thursday afternoon that he showed part of the bodycam video, less than 24 hours after the shooting, to dispel rumors or speculation being spread on social media that the man was unarmed and was shot in the back.
Two separate investigations are now underway -- one by the FWPD major case unit, the other by Internal Affairs. They will work to determine if the use of deadly force was justified in this case and whether the officers followed all department policies.
"Those investigations are very meticulous, they're very thorough and they're very lengthy," said Daniels. "So as information becomes available we'll send that out. We want to be as transparent as possible."
The four officers involved in the shooting are on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation, as is standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting.