Video released by Fort Worth police Wednesday night shows a man in an apparent mental-health crisis feigning surrender and then pulling out what authorities described as a realistic-looking fake gun before police fatally shot him.
The man, identified by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office as 29-year-old Robert Mitchell Davis, died from multiple gunshot wounds.
According to edited video released by Fort Worth police Wednesday, Davis called emergency services about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. He told a dispatcher that he was armed, across the street from his parents’ house and “worried that I’m going to go in and kill” them.
“I just need you guys to come,” Davis said in the call. “I’m worried I’m — I’m worried I’m going to kill them.” He also described himself as feeling “possessed” and like he was going to hurt somebody.
Fort Worth police Chief Neil Noakes said three officers responded while the dispatcher kept Davis on the phone for an “extended amount of time.”
The video shows the officers arriving at Bear Creek Vista Park — behind the Davis family home — and encountering a barking dog. They later see Davis, who drops to his knees and appears to raise his hands in surrender.
The three officers approach Davis with their weapons drawn. As they walk closer, Davis reaches for his waistline, pulls out an item and appears to assume a shooting stance.
“No — don’t do it!” one officer said in the video, which cuts before the gunfire starts.
“There was absolutely no way for our officers to know it was not a real firearm when it was produced,” Noakes said in the video. Authorities did not say exactly what type of gun Davis pulled.
In the hours after the shooting, Fort Worth police said “at least one” officer fired their weapon. Police did not respond to questions late Wednesday asking how many times Davis was shot. The identities of the officers involved have not been released.
Attempts to reach the Davis family Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Noakes implied in the video that Davis was experiencing a mental-health crisis at the time of the incident.
“Mental health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance,” Noakes said. “If you or someone you know suffers, please seek help right away, and we ask for prayers for all involved in this incident.”
The shooting remains under investigation. The entire incident will be presented to a grand jury, which is standard for officer-involved shootings, police said.