BALDWIN COUNTY, AL (WKRG) — Baldwin County Sheriff’s deputies say they did everything possible to “de-escalate” the situation before shooting and killing a Louisiana man who crashed on Interstate 10 Friday evening.
At a press conference Thursday, investigators announced Jonathan Victor was holding a fanny pack wrapped in a black windbreaker when he exited his vehicle and approached the deputies that shot and killed him. The deputies say Victor was holding the fanny pack in a way that made it appear to possibly be a firearm, but Victor was found to be unarmed after he was shot near the Alabama-Florida state line.
Investigators released a screenshot of witness video showing the moment Victor exited his car from the passenger side. In the image, you can see the covered object in hand and what investigators call the “tactical position” Victor was in as he walked towards deputies.
As we’ve reported, Victor ignored multiple verbal commands from deputies to get to the ground. Deputies say the incident happened in “a matter of seconds” and backpedaled to give Victor additional moments to surrender, but he kept walking forward. He later died at the hospital from four gunshot wounds to the abdomen and leg.
As emergency aid was being administered at the scene moments after the shooting, deputies are said to have observed multiple cuts to Victor’s wrists and blood on the windbreaker that covered the fanny pack. Deputies believe Victor was trying to commit suicide in the car before he exited, but was unsuccessful.
A single deputy fired the four shots that led to Victor’s death. That deputy, who is not being identified, is on paid administrative leave while the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) investigates the fatal shooting.
News 5 was told there are multiple videos that show how the shooting transpired. A witness video captured on a smartphone was shown to reporters at the Thursday press conference. News 5’s Ashley Knight says the video shows Victor make several steps towards deputies and ignoring commands to get down to the ground.
Deputies have determined to not release the entire video to the public at this time. They are considering the possibility of releasing the video after it is watched by Victor’s family.
This is a developing story… more to follow.