NOPD releases body cam footage of fatal Orleans Ave. shootout

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NEW ORLEANS - The NOPD has released edited body camera footage from four of the five officers who were involved in a fatal shootout with a reportedly suicidal man.

The officers responded to reports of a suicidal man armed with a gun at a home on Orleans Avenue around 10:15 p.m. on January 4.

The body camera worn by Senior Officer April Augustine shows Augustine approaching a seemingly quiet shotgun home on a serene street.

After Augustine knocks on the front door and rings the bell, however, chaos ensues.

A woman bursts through the door, screaming that a man inside has a gun.

Another woman exits the house, and Augustine helps her move away from the door just before Zonell Williams exits the home brandishing a firearm.

The other four officers on the scene - Officer Steven Friedrich, Officer Mario Bravo, Senior Officer Darrius Mcfarland, and Officer Duncan Chauffe - can be heard shouting repeated commands for Williams to put down his gun.

Soon, a multitude of shots began to ring out.

Four officers discharged their weapons, and Williams was struck multiple times.

He died on the scene.

Officer Bravo can be heard on footage from his body camera telling his fellow officers that he had been hit just after Williams is secured near the sidewalk in front of the home.

Bravo was hit twice in his protective vest, according to the NOPD.

Although he was wearing a body camera, Senior Officer Darrius Mcfarland’s camera was turned off at the time of the shooting.

The NOPD is investigating why that camera was turned off.

The family of the deceased man is devastated but has reportedly maintained a good relationship with the NOPD.

Outgoing NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison spoke at Williams’ funeral, according to the NOPD.

The suspect did not have a history of mental illness.

The NOPD said the body camera footage shows that the fatal shooting was justified.


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