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Video: Airman fatally shot by Florida deputy

Police lights. (Dreamstime/TNS)
May 09, 2024

Newly-released bodycam footage shows the moment a Florida deputy fatally shot an Airman in his home after the Airman answered the door with a firearm in his hand.

The Airman’s family accused the deputy of going to the wrong apartment – an allegation disputed by law enforcement officials, CNN reported.

Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden played the footage during a press conference on Thursday after the family’s attorney demanded the video be released.

The active-duty senior Airman was identified as Roger Fortson, according to attorney Ben Crump.

Aden said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Division is handling the criminal investigation into the shooting, adding that “no determination has been made as to whether the deputy’s actions were justified or not.”

While the investigation is ongoing, the deputy has been placed on administrative leave.

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“What we do know at this time is that the deputy did announce himself, not once but twice,” Aden said. “Mr. Fortson’s comments indicate that he did acknowledge it was law enforcement at the door and he arrived at the door with a firearm in his hand. The deputy knocked on the correct door, he did not cover the peephole or otherwise obscured its view in any way.”

Fortson’s family insisted law enforcement officers were at the wrong apartment.

“We remain adamant that the police had the wrong apartment as Roger was on the phone with his girlfriend for a substantial amount of time leading up to the shooting, and no one else was in the apartment,” Fortson’s family said in a statement.