Birmingham police officials released three videos showing the fatal shooting of Desmon Montez Ray Jr. following a pursuit in the city’s north side.
The 28-year-old was fatally shot in an alley just before 11 p.m.
Officers had responded to a 911 call about a domestic dispute inside a vehicle when they saw the vehicle in question in the 200 block of Ninth Avenue West.
According to police, the responding officers tried to stop the car, but the driver refused to stop, prompting police to pursue the vehicle until it crashed into a chain link fence.
Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said that the driver, later identified as Ray, exited the vehicle and confronted the officers, firing one shot in the officers’ direction. Officers responded, firing at least eight shots, striking Ray.
According to Smith, the department needed to “put out the most factual information to make sure the community knows we’re going to operate above board and we’re going to be extremely clear in our delivery and we’re going to show exactly what occurred that night.”
“Let me be clear, there’s not a member of this department who wants to take anyone’s life. Our goal is preservation of life, and we want to be respectful to everyone,’' he said. “We extend our condolences to the Ray family, but we have to make sure that we’re putting out the information that is necessary and relevant for the greater good of our community.”
The family was shown the video a week earlier, and one of the family’s attorneys, Richard Rice, revealed that it was difficult for Ray’s parents to watch.
Rice stated that there was no visual proof to back that up the police’s claims that Ray had fired the first shot. Additionally, Rice stated, Ray had been shot in the back, indicating that he was retreating when he was shot.
The released videos were from a Ring doorbell camera and two bodycams of the first two officers on the scene. There was no dash cam video of the incident, and both officers are Black, as was Ray.
“Our goal is to be as transparent as we possibly can,’' Smith added. “I feel it is critically important that we get information out there for the greater good of the community. It’s crucial to show the community what actually occurred, the involvement of our officers and the lengths we go through.”
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation into the fatal shooting.
The officer who fired the fatal shot had been placed on administrative leave but has since been posted on a new assignment.