Crime

Father Livestreams His Own Fatal Shooting (Photo)

| by Brendan Kelly

A Louisiana father livestreamed his own fatal shooting during a face-off with police officers.

According to the Daily Mail, Rodney James Hess, 36, was fatally shot by police after he was acting erratically and "attempted to use his vehicle to strike the officers at least twice." 

Hess was filming the incident and streamed the video on Facebook Live. He told an officer in the video, "I need the higher commands to come out," before he appears to make some kind of a movement. Hess was then shot several times through his windshield and screamed in pain as he then drove and crashed his car.

Hess dropped his phone after crashing the car. The sound of breaking glass can then be heard in the video, which may be officers trying to open the car door.

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Hess' cousin confirmed to NBC News that the video was in fact taken by Hess.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the incident and is aware of the video.

"Though we are aware such a video exists, we cannot confirm its authenticity," Josh DeVine, Information Officer with the TBI told NBC News. 

"As with anything that might potentially be evidence, we will examine it to determine if it has probative benefit."

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Hess, who is originally from New Orleans but lives in Texas, had been visiting his mother in Memphis, Tennessee, prior to the incident, which took place in Tennessee.

The 36-year-old was airlifted from the scene to a hospital, where he later died.

Hess' fiancee, Johnisha Provost, says that when Hess asked for the "higher commands," he was asking for help.

"He was not trying to harm anybody. He was asking for help and they shot him down,' Provost said. "He couldn't get his mind together. That's why he asked for a higher command. I always told him, 'Babe, if you are ever in a situation where you need help, ask the person in charge for the higher command to help you,' and that's what he kept saying."

Provost says that she watched Hess' Facebook Live stream during the moment he was killed.

"I found out as it was happening," Provost said. "I was at work and my aunt called me and was like, 'Rodney is in trouble.' He was on Facebook and I logged on and I watched it."

Some viewers of Hess' live stream thought that he may have been on drugs at the time of the incident, but several people who know him say that he suffered from mental illness and was off of his medication.

Hess' cousin, Donald Hess III, said, "Rodney 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."

Noey Torres, a friend of Hess', commented on the video: "He was off his medication he was not on drugs." He added: "Rodney wasn't a user. He was a hard working family man who was in need of some medical help all u people talking like yall know something should be ashamed of yallselves."

"He just suffered from mental illness and people need to be aware of how to deal with mental illness," Provost said. "They could have just shot his tires out or they could have handled it differently. They didn't have to kill him."

Sources: NBC News, Daily Mail / Photo credit: Pixabay, Facebook via Daily Mail

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