Home security video showed a repo truck callously hauling away an Alabama man’s truck as he lay dying in his front yard after being shot by a police officer.
Steve Perkins, 39, was slain by an officer on Sept. 29 outside his Decatur home after a tow truck driver who had arrived to repossess his truck told police he had threatened him with a gun, according to Decatur Daily.
Police said that Perkins, a black man, had also pointed a gun at the officer, who reportedly fired 18 shots at the man, hitting him seven times.
The shooting happened after Perkins exited his house at night with a flashlight, security footage showed. Police and the driver said he had mounted a gun on the flashlight, a claim which could not be verified by watching the footage.
On Nov. 4, new home security footage from a neighbor across the street emerged depicting Perkins’ truck callously being towed as he fought for his life, riddled with gunshots on his own property.
In the clip, Perkins is laying on the ground as two people who appeared to be police officers stood over him and patted him down.
A spokesperson for Perkins’ family said he was “ambushed” by police, who gave him less than a fraction of a second to comply with instructions to get on the ground before opening fire, doorbell camera video showed.
“From the immediate footage that we’re seeing, it looked like an ambush of him not even knowing who was in his yard,” family spokesperson Brenton Lipscomb told NBC News on Monday.
“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, 62, who lives across from Perkins’ residence and one house over, complied with a state subpoena to release the footage from her security system.
“I stood outside the whole time, and I saw them pat him down. I did not see them render any first aid,” she told the local outlet. “All I kept hearing was ‘put the gun down, put the gun down,’ and Perkins is on the ground.
“I saw him move one arm slightly, and I heard him say, ‘Help.’ I saw his arm move like up toward his head, and then I didn’t see him move again,” said Capps.
“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 continued, adding that the ambulance was in “no hurry” to arrive.
The neighbor also said that when she hailed a police officer to her porch after the shooting and asked them if Perkins was okay, they lied and said “he’s fine.”
Decatur police spokeswoman Irene Cardenas-Martinez reportedly disputed Capps’ account of the aftermath of the shooting and said officers had rendered first aid.
“Officers on scene provided Mr. Perkins with medical aid before he was transported to the hospital,” she said.
“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.”
Perkins was remembered by Capps as a “good man” who always “watched out” for her.
“He helped me in so many ways,” Capps said. “I fell out in the front yard from my diabetes; he came running over and picked me up like I didn’t weigh a feather.
“One time he took me to urgent care because I had fallen and hit my head, and I was trying to get
in the truck to drive myself there and he knew something was wrong.”
Perkins worked for pet food manufacturer J.M. Smucker, and was married with two teenage children, according to NBC.
He had no prior record aside from a DUI arrest more than a decade ago, the network said.
His family described him as a “family-oriented young black man thriving for excellence,” and disputed the fact that his truck was being targeted for repossession, suggesting that the towing company and police were “wrongfully” at the home in the first place, according to WHNT-TV.
More than a month after the deadly shooting, Perkins’ white GMC Sierra was seen at tow tuck company Allstar Recovery’s lot, less than a mile from his house, Decatur Daily reported.
It had been sequestered away from other vehicles on the lot and was barely visible from the street.
The unidentified officer who killed Perkins was put on leave amid an internal investigation that reportedly concluded last week.
The results of the probe were being kept under wraps until a predetermination hearing to review potential policy violations.
A separate investigation that could result in criminal charges against the officer was being conducted by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.