Protests erupted after Fort Worth police shot and killed an armed 20-year-old man suspected of assault with a deadly weapon. Early reports on social media falsely stated that the person shot was an unarmed teen, fueling public unrest.
“No juveniles were involved at all,” Sgt. Chris Daniels said in a press conference at the scene. He added that the shot man “was found with a handgun.” By evening, protests had swelled to several hundred people all the same. Well after police explained that a 20-year-old man with a gun was shot, people on social media continued to claim it was an unarmed teen.
“The reason people are out here is because there’s no trust,” said Pastor Michael Bell, protest leader, to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If there was trust, then we could believe what the police say.”
The names of those involved were not released. You can see photos and videos from the scene near Berry Street, where a large crowd was gathering, throughout this article.
It all started late in the afternoon, at 4 p.m, when officers were in the area looking for a “wanted person. This individual was wanted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon,” Daniels said.
Here’s what you need to know:
Police Say the Deceased Man Was Found Hiding in a Truck
The police spokesman described a scene in which an armed man wanted for a dangerous offense didn’t follow the orders of police officers who located him.
Officers saw the man getting into a car with two other people and tried to make a traffic stop, according to Daniels.
“The individuals in the car fled on foot. Officers gave chase. They were able to take two people in custody,” he said, adding that they didn’t initially find the third person, so they kept searching the area.
“He was subsequently found hiding in a truck near the 5200 block of east Berry. When officers tried to make the arrest, gunshots were fired. Officers were able to get the individual out of the truck. He was found with a handgun,” said Daniels.
“At the moment, there are a lot of rumors out here about juveniles being involved. There’s no child involved in this at all. These were all adults,” he stressed. Daniels said the man was “non-compliant” when officers tried to get him to come out of the truck. He wasn’t sure how many officers had fired or were present.
He said there was an officer with a tactical medical unit who immediately administered first aid to the person who was shot, but the shot man died at the scene. The man who died was the suspect for “aggravated assault with a deadly weapon,” Daniels said. He said the information was preliminary.
Police said further on June 10 that “numerous verbal commands were given to the suspect and he did not comply with an y of the commands given. As officers attempted to break the glass of the vehicle to gain a better view of the suspect, the suspect made an overt action placing the officers in fear for their lives. Three officers responded to this threat with deadly force.”
Earlier in the evening, Fort Worth police confirmed only that they responded to an “officer-involved shooting.” Fox 4 News quickly reported that social media posts indicating a 15-year-old teenager was shot and killed were false, writing, “Police say no children were involved in the officer-involved shooting in Fort Worth, and all those involved were adults.”
A Prayer Circle & Protest Formed at the Scene
Steve Pickett, a journalist for CBS 11, published a photo showing a prayer circle at the scene. He reported that the shooting was fatal.
Fort Worth police confirmed that a person was dead as a result of the shooting, and that the deceased person was not an officer.
“PIO en route to the officer involved shooting – staging area is E. Berry @ Dillard St. #Media,” Fort Worth police wrote on the evening of June 9, 2019. The PIO refers to the public information officer who deals with the news media. Police had not made any other statement. According to Fox 4, the shooting occurred near Lauretta Dr. and East Berry St.
Video circulated on Facebook Live that showed the police shooting aftermath. The settings were quickly privatized or it was deleted, however. It showed crowds of people milling around with multiple squad cars at the shooting scene.
Photos and social media reports claimed a teen was shot in a car, but, again, that was false information.
Other videos showed the scene was growing tense.
A Dallas Fort Worth scanner site wrote on Twitter, “Officer Involved Shooting (Fort Worth) Fort Worth PD working an officer involved shooting near the 5200 block of E Berry Street. No other official details. Avoid this area.”
Information on social media can be wrong in early stages of fast-breaking situations. And, again, police are disputing claims that the person shot and killed was only 15 or was unarmed despite some of the captions on the embedded tweets that show the scene’s aftermath.
Photos showed crowds gathering at the scene.
This post will be updated as more information is learned about the Fort Worth police shooting.