Society

Florida Officials Release Details About January Waffle House Shooting Deemed Self-Defense (Video)

| by Jared Keever
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Florida officials recently released surveillance video (shown below) of a January shooting that took place at a Ft. Myers Waffle House restaurant in which one man was killed. 

The News-Press of Ft. Myers reported earlier this month that the State Attorney’s Office released the video along with other details about the investigation into what happened the night 24-year-old Dakota Fields was fatally shot by Jehrardd Williams, 28. 

According to WBBH News, release of the video and the additional details followed the announcement that no charges would be filed against Williams after investigators from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office determined he was acting in self defense in the early morning hours of Jan. 5.

The police report, obtained by The News-Press, indicates Williams was sitting in the restaurant at around 2:40 a.m. on Jan. 5 when he was “immediately verbally confronted by a group of males who were drunk.” 

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According to the report, Fields was the most aggressive of the group of four and he had reportedly carried beers into the restaurant.

Williams, who is black, was sitting with another man, who was identified as Hispanic in the report. Investigators noted in the case documents that both of the men ignored racist remarks directed at them by the group. 

Employees reportedly asked Fields to leave the restaurant. Shortly after he left, another man, identified by investigators as Robert Black, approached Williams and his companion and attempted to shake their hands. Williams can be seen in the surveillance video refusing to shake Black’s hand before Black punches him in the face.

According to the police report, and apparently corroborated by the surveillance video, Williams  “showed extreme restraint” after being punched and took several steps back and pulled out a gun and held it down by his side. 

After an exchange of words between Williams and Black, a man, identified as Fields, can be seen in the video running back into the restaurant. 

“(Williams) began to fear that all four males were going to attack him ... (and) felt there was no other options but to shoot at Fields to prevent his attack," the report noted of Williams’ reaction to Fields bursting through the doors. 

Police believe Williams fired three shots at Fields, hitting him in the torso. Fields is then seen in video running out of the restaurant, with other members of his group following him. 

According to WBBH, the group fled the scene in a black SUV which was involved in a car accident just six miles from the Waffle House. Fields was reportedly found in the vehicle, dead from a gunshot wound. 

Williams, who had a permit to carry the .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol used in the shooting, reportedly called 911 and stayed at the restaurant, waiting for investigators to arrive.

Sources: YouTube: Fox 4 Now, The News-Press, WBBH News 

Photo Credit: LCOS, Screen shot from YouTube: Fox 4 Now