WARNING: This article contains video and a written explanation of security footage showing a fatal police-involved shooting. Viewer discretion recommended.
DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – News 19 is working to better understand what happened the night authorities say Stephen Perkins was shot and killed by Decatur police officers.
A neighbor of Perkins provided News 19 with home security camera videos of the encounter early on the morning of September 29. We reviewed the videos and showed parts of them to help the public understand that night.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) continues to investigate the shooting and the Decatur Police Department (DPD) says one of the officers involved has been placed on leave.
Disclaimer: Video has been edited for broadcast purposes., including when the tow truck arrives and leaves the Perkins house. The video is graphic and viewer discretion is advised. A written explanation is below if you prefer not to watch the video.
The video came from a neighbor’s camera across the street, one house to the left of Perkins’ house on Ryan Drive in Decatur. None of the videos have a time stamp. But the neighbor who provided the video estimates that from the time the first police car moved down the street until the shooting, about 12 minutes passed.
In the video – we see three people, who reveal themselves to be Decatur police officers – enter Stephen Perkins’ neighborhood by crossing neighbors’ yards towards his house. It takes them about 90 seconds to reach Perkins’ side of the house. The video was sped up during the walk for time reasons.
News 19 then cut down the video so viewers could see the full layout of the neighborhood. Eventually, the video shows the small group of officers pulling up next to Perkins’ home.
Two of the officers walk down the next door neighbor’s driveway, with one crossing the street. The other officer returns to the side of Perkins’ house. This seems to leave two police officers on the dark side of Perkins’ house.
News 19 then shows a second clip from the same camera. It is unclear how much time passes between the end of the first clip and the arrival of the tow truck apparently in a repossession effort in the second clip.
It appears that when the tow truck driver hitches Perkins’ pickup, Perkins gets out. The video shows a light moving across the front yard, apparently carried by Perkins.
He shouts to the driver, “Hey, put my truck down!” Eh eh ! »
The officers then emerge from the spot around the corner of Perkins’ house, running around the truck, behind him.
They start shouting: “Police!” Go to the field!”
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Gunshots can be heard within seven seconds of Perkins’ exit. Video shows gunfire erupted four seconds after Perkins yelled at the tow truck driver.
After more than 15 shots were fired, police officers can be seen running in different directions near Perkins’ home.
An officer can be heard yelling, “It’s the gun, it’s the gun.” »
Less than four minutes after Perkins was shot, the tow truck driver drove away in Perkins’ truck.
News 19 continues to investigate this case, and all reports on Stephen Perkins’ death and the investigation can be found here.