Bossier DA: Fatal officer-involved shooting justified; video released

Louisiana

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The fatal shooting of a woman wielding scissors by a Bossier City police officer has been determined to be justified by the Bossier City Police Department and in an independent review of the case by the district attorney.

According to a statement released Friday morning by BCPD, the determination was made following an investigation by the Bossier City Police Department and a subsequent review by the Bossier Parish District Attorney’s Office.

The police department also released surveillance and body cam video of the incident in which 45-year-old Shannon Rupert of Shreveport was shot and killed by Bossier City Police officer Patrick Edmonds, Jr. on October 25. Police say Edmonds was responding to a complaint of a disorderly person at the LaQuinta Inn on Preston Boulevard when Rupert brandished a pair of scissors while on a phone in the lobby of the hotel.

Police say the officer gave multiple verbal commands to Rupert to put down the weapon. “Rupert then aggressively approached the officer with scissors in hand. The officer fired two rounds from his department issued handgun striking Rupert in the upper torso.”

Rupert was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

BPCD also released a copy of the letter summarizing the results of the district attorney’s office review of the case, in which DA Schulyer Marvin noted that the officer’s bodycam was “particularly helpful” in determining whether the use of deadly force was justified.

“The deceased appeared highly animated and erratic in the time period preceding the officer’s arrival as she refused to leave the non-public area and of the business and armed herself. Those actions continued after the officer arrived, and the deceased continued to grasp and brandish a scissors and a knife. The officer distanced himself from the deceased on the other side of the hotel front-desk. In response to the officer’s clear instructions to drop her weapon, the deceased used racial epithets and told the officer that he would have to shoot her before she complied. The officer can be heard to calmly radio for assitance, even while the deceased makes advances from behind the desk in the officer’s direction.”

The officer conveyed a clear, conscise warning of what would happen if the deceased continued to approach while armed. In mmediate response to the officer’s warning, the deceased raised both arms while holding the scissors and moved towards the officer within a distance that appeared to be no more than seven and possibly 5 feet when the officer fired two shots, in immediate succession. The deceased’s intent of movement toward the officer is certain as her momentum continues to carry her forward even after she is shot. The events described here and happened much more quickly than described. Investigating officers interviewed witnesses who were on location before entering the events.”

Bossier Parish District Attorney Schulyer Marvin, in a letter to Bossier City Police Chief Shane McWilliams

“Based on all evidence reviewed it is my firm opinion that no crime was committed by the officer as his actions constituted justifiable homicide. The circumstances confronting this officer were such that a reasonable belief existed that he was in imminent danger of losing his life or suffering great bodily harm, and the discharge of his firearm was necessary for the prevention of a possibly lethal threat,” Marvin said.

Officer Edmonds was placed on administrative leave following the shooting. BCPD says he will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation for possible violations of departmental policy conducted by the Internal Affairs Division.

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