Tennessee Man Fatally Shot By Police, Streamed Encounter Online


On Thursday, Police in Tennessee fatally shot a driver who recorded the shooting on Facebook live. Authorities claimed he tried to hit officers with his vehicle.

A fatal shooting:

Rodney James Hess, 36, parked his sport-utility vehicle on a highway off ramp at around 2:15 p.m., according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. He was acting erratically and at one point “attempted to use his vehicle to strike the officers at least twice.”

The agency said in a statement that during the escalation of events at least one Crockett County sheriff’s deputy fired through the windshield. Hess was airlifted to a hospital but later died.

Hess posted two videos on Facebook, in one he tells the officer outside his window that he would like to speak with “the higher commands.”

In the video, Hess tells an officer: “I need the higher commands to come out.” He then made some kind of movement. Gunshots are heard, Hess is heard screaming in pain while driving and appearing to crash the vehicle. The moment shots were fired wasn’t captured clearly by the video.

The video was taken by Hess, as confirmed by his cousin. TBI which is investigating the shooting, is aware of the video.

Josh DeVine, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Public Information Officer said: “Though we are aware such a video exists, we cannot confirm its authenticity. As with anything that might potentially be evidence, we will examine it to determine if it has probative benefit.”

The identity of the officers will not be identified by the TBI until it has completed its investigation.

The videos:

One of the videos that Hess published is more than 17 minutes long, and it shows him acting oddly.

According to his family, Hess is originally from New Orleans but moved to Tennessee because of Hurricane Katrina.

Donald Hess III, Hess’ cousin told NBC News: “Rodney was a father, a son and hard worker. He suffered from mental illness but was a functioning member of society. He often traveled for work — mostly construction work — and he did everything for his children.”

According to DeVine, the findings of the investigation will be handed will hand over by the TBI to 28th District Attorney General Garry Brown, who will decide whether to send the case to a grand jury