Video Reveals Tow Truck Driver Repossessing Dying Man’s Vehicle Right After Cops Allegedly Shoot Him
Stephen Perkin's neighbor disclosed that police didn't have good lighting when they assumed he had a gun.
A neighbor’s video surveillance footage of an interaction between an Alabama father, police, and a repo man emerged on Nov. 4.
In an incident that occurred on Sept. 29, 39-year-old Stephen Perkins was allegedly shot and killed by police officers in Decatur, Alabama, outside his home. As he lay dying, the repo man— who had gone to the house earlier—confiscated his truck.
According to the New York Post, recently released surveillance footage captured the tow truck driver taking the dead man’s vehicle immediately after officers allegedly shot Perkins. Police claimed the family man brandished a firearm before a cop fired 18 shots at the 39-year-old patriarch. Seven bullets hit him. Perkins’ family disputed the claim that he was so far behind in payments that the truck was being repossessed.
After the shooting, police officers claimed that Perkins pointed a gun at the officer who shot him. Video footage revealed that Perkins had a flashlight in his hand when they approached, but the officers allege that he had a gun mounted to the flashlight. There was no mention of a weapon being recovered.
In the initial report of the shooting, Decatur police spokeswoman Irene Cardenas-Martinez claimed that the officers gave Perkins first aid before the ambulance arrived.
“Officers on scene provided Mr. Perkins with medical aid before he was transported to the hospital,” she stated. “An officer retrieved a medical pack and began assessing his injuries while other officers applied pressure to the wounds and applied a tourniquet to one of his legs before medics arrived.”
Yet, the video does not show any of that taking place. The family disputes that, and a neighbor also stated that she did not witness those alleged actions. The Perkins family said that he was ambushed by the police officers who never gave him a chance to comply with instructions to get on the ground, as they fired at him almost immediately upon confronting him.
Family spokesperson Brenton Lipscomb told NBC News, “From the immediate footage that we’re seeing, it looked like an ambush of him not even knowing who was in his yard. They were in uniform, but it’s a very dark neighborhood. No police cars were in front of the house. They were parked down the street, hiding in neighborhoods’ yards, hiding around the house.”
Susan Capps, who lives across the street, told a different story concerning the event. It was the footage from her security camera that was recently released.
“I stood outside the whole time, and I saw them pat him down. I did not see them render any first aid. All I kept hearing was, ‘Put the gun down. Put the gun down.’ I saw him move one arm slightly and heard him say, ‘Help.’ I saw his arm move like up toward his head, and then I didn’t see him move again,” the neighbor said.
“And then I heard an officer call and say he ‘needed an ambulance ASAP,’ and then a little later I heard him say ‘he’s out.’”
Capps also stated that she asked one of the officers about Perkins, and the person allegedly lied and told her that he was fine.
News 19 reported that the Decatur Police Department said an investigation of the incident was completed. Chief Todd Pinion will review the findings and determine if disciplinary actions will be taken. Pinion then said he would give his recommendation to Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling.
The police officer who shot Perkins has been placed on leave while the incident is under investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.