The Black man’s truck was recovered moments after he was killed by Alabama police
Home security video showed a Repo truck brutally towing an Alabama man’s truck as he lay dying in his front yard after being shot by a police officer.
Steve Perkins, 39, was killed by an officer on Sept. 29 outside his home in Decatur after a tow truck driver who arrived to retrieve his truck told police he had threatened him with a gun, according to the Decatur Daily.
Perkins, a black man, pointed a gun at the officer, who fired 18 shots at the man, hitting him seven times, police said.
Security footage showed that the shooting occurred after Perkins left his home at night with a flashlight. Police and the driver said he put a gun on the headlight, a claim that could not be verified by watching the footage.
On November 4, new home security footage from a neighbor across the street surfaced depicting Perkins’ truck being brutally towed as he fought for his life, riddled with gunshot wounds on his own property.
In the clip, Perkins is seen lying on the ground while two people who appear to be police officers stand and pat him down.
A spokesman for Perkins’ family said he was “ambushed” by police, who gave him less than a split second to comply with instructions to get on the ground before opening fire, doorbell camera video showed.
“From the instant footage we’re seeing, it looked like an ambush of him not even knowing who was in his yard,” family spokesman Brenton Lipscomb told NBC News on Monday.
“They were wearing military uniforms, but the neighborhood was very dark. There were no police cars in front of the house, they were parked in the street, hiding in neighborhood yards, hiding around the house.
Susan Capps, 62, who lives across from the Perkins home and one house away, complied with the state’s subpoena to release the footage from her security system.
“I stood outside the whole time, and I saw them patting him down. I didn’t see them giving any first aid,” she told a local outlet. “All I kept hearing was ‘Put the gun down, put the gun down,’ and Perkins was on the ground.
“I saw him move one arm a little bit, and I heard him say, ‘Help.’ “I saw his arm move toward his head, and then I didn’t see him move again,” Capps said.
“Then I heard an officer call and say he needed an ambulance as quickly as possible, and shortly after that I heard him say he was outside,” Capps continued, adding that the ambulance was “in no hurry” to arrive.
The neighbor also said that when she called a police officer onto her porch after the shooting and asked if Perkins was okay, they lied and said “he’s okay.”
Decatur police spokeswoman Erin Cardenas Martinez reportedly disputed Capps’ account of the aftermath of the shooting and said officers administered first aid.
“Officers at the scene provided Mr. Perkins with medical assistance before transporting him to hospital,” she said.
“One officer brought 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 paramedics arrived.”
Capps remembered Perkins as a “good guy” who always “kept his eye on her.”
“He helped me in so many ways,” Capps said. “I fell in the front yard because of diabetes; He came running and lifted me up as if I didn’t weigh a feather.
“One time he took me to urgent care because I fell and hit my head, and I was trying to get up
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 other than a DUI arrest more than a decade ago, the network said.
His family described him as a “young, family-oriented black man striving for excellence,” and questioned the fact that his truck was 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 fatal shooting, the white GMC Sierra driven by Perkins was spotted in the lot of Allstar Recovery, less than a mile from his home, the Decatur Daily reported.
It was set back away from other vehicles in the parking lot and was barely visible from the street.
The unidentified officer who killed Perkins has been placed on leave amid an internal investigation that was said to have concluded last week.
The results of the investigation were kept confidential until a scheduled hearing to review potential policy violations.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is conducting a separate investigation that could lead to criminal charges against the officer.