FWPD releases portion of dash cam video of fatal 2019 police shooting

Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 3:14 PM EDT
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WARNING: This video contains graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - The Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) has released dash cam video of an incident in 2019 where an officer fatally shot a suspect during a pursuit after 21Investigates filed a public records request for it.

On May 22, 2019, the department says Detective Christopher Hawthorne was patrolling the city’s southeast side when he says he saw suspect Shaquille Kelly shoot at a house before leading police on a pursuit.

That chase ended when Kelly crashed into a home near Oliver and Grier Streets. The department says when he began to stand up and move his hands, Hawthorne fired one fatal shot, saying he believed Kelly was armed.

The case was then sent to the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office, which later determined the shooting was justified.

RELATED: Family of man involved in fatal 2019 police shooting want answers

FWPD told 21Investigates there was dash cam video of the incident, which 21Investigates then filed a public records request to obtain. Body camera footage of the shooting does not exist, as the department did not receive such cameras until 2021.

The department provided media with an edited version of the video on Friday, April 28.

The video shows Hawthorne radio to another officer, saying he believes someone in a gold Chrysler just fired shots toward a home. Kelly, driving the gold Chrysler, then sped off, and Hawthorne turned on his lights and sirens and followed him.

Video shows Kelly speeding in a residential area along Oliver Street for several blocks. He is then shown driving into a yard and crashing into a home.

In the video, you see two officers then get out of the squad car and run towards Kelly. Kelly can be seen getting out of his car as one officer yells “freeze”. Kelly, who can only partially be seen behind his car, is then shown raising his hands as Hawthorne fires a shot.

FWPD Public Information Officer Jeremy Webb, who voices over the video, then says officers believed Kelly was trying to get into the home.

“The officer, knowing the suspect was armed and had previously fired his gun recklessly, feared for his life and the life and safety of the occupants of the home. The officer fired his handgun once, striking the suspect. At the time the shot is fired, the suspect is not clearly visible,” Webb says in the video.

The video then shows two photos of a gun police say was found on the floor of Kelly’s car along with the picture of a bullet police say Kelly fired from the gun earlier.

21Investigates, to clarify, requested the entire dash cam video from that night and only received a portion. We are working to still obtain the full, unedited version of the video.

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