Video of man being shot by a Walker County deputy is shared on Facebook

GRAPHIC: Video surfaces of Walker Co. Officer involved shooting

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - One person is dead following an officer-involved shooting in Empire Friday night, according to the Walker County Sheriff’s office.

Deputies were responding to a 911 call for help with a mentally ill man, according to a source that has first-hand knowledge of the shooting. The Walker County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy was responding to a domestic violence call.

A video of the shooting is being shared on Facebook. The video shows a man, presumably a Walker County deputy, standing over another man on the floor of a kitchen.

The man on the floor is Fredrick Hight II, according to two family members of Hight’s. Both said Hight is mentally ill and has abused drugs.

The video is disturbing and difficult to watch. It also contains words that are offensive to some. It is not appropriate for children.

This is what it shows and what you hear:

Deputy: “Do what I said!”

(unintelligible raised voice)

Hight: “Why do I have to do it? Huh? Why do I have to do it?”

Deputy: “You heard what I said. Come on.”

Hight: “Where are you fucking handcuffs?”

Deputy: Unintelligible. “Don’t you do it. I’ll fuck you up. I’ll fuck you up.”

It is unclear what the deputy told Hight not to do. Hight was on the ground, on his left side. The officer stood over Hight then is heard yelling and can be see briefly with his gun in his hand.

Hight: “What the fuck? Same shit! Dad, you better fucking say something. You better fucking say something. What is this shit, man!?”

Someone off camera, presumably the person recording the video, is heard: “Get down on your back.”

A family member said Hight’s father recorded the video and is the man you hear telling Hight to get one his back.

(unintelligible raised voice)

The camera moved away from them, then quickly back to them. The deputy is seen bending over with his back to the camera. Hight cannot be seen.

(unintelligible raised voice)

Deputy: “I’m gonna shoot ya. I’m gonna shoot ya.”

(unintelligible raised voice. Someone said “The joke’s on you. The joke’s on you.” It is followed by a loud pop.)

A family member said that pop is the deputy shooting Hight. The video became blurry as the camera moved away from the deputy and Hight. Hight screamed.

(unintelligible)

The camera moved closer to the deputy.

Hight’s legs moved as the deputy walked around him and said, “Have you seen my radio?”

The person shooting the video said, “It’s right there.”

The deputy picked up the radio and said into the radio, “Get me some back up. Send the paramedics team. I had to shoot one. Send investigators.”

Next, the deputy looked at the person with the camera and said, “Go back outside.”

The video ended with that.

A family member who did not want to be named for now, said the deputy used excessive force on someone who is mentally ill.

It is procedure for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to investigate a shooting that involves a member of law enforcement. That was confirmed in a statement published on Facebook by the Walker County Sheriff Office. This is the entire statement:

One of our veteran deputies was involved in a shooting last night that resulted in the death of a suspect.

As many of you have seen, there is a video making the rounds on social media showing a small portion of the incident that occurred, and I want to take this opportunity to assure the citizens of Walker County and the brave men and women of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office that a thorough and fair investigation into the incident in its entirety will be, and is currently being, conducted by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

Many of you may not know that standard procedure when an officer is involved in a shooting is to bring in ALEA to conduct the investigation to ensure there are no conflicts.

I am confident that ALEA’s investigation will paint the full picture of what occurred last night and a grand jury made up of Walker County citizens will decide how to proceed from there. These investigations can be lengthy, but once it is done, I will personally release its findings right here on this page for everyone to read and understand.

I ask that everyone keep in mind that we were not there last night. I wasn’t, you weren’t, and no one but the people involved were. It’s very easy to sit back and say what you would have done or what the officer and suspect should have done based on a minute and a half worth of video, but until you are in those positions, you just don’t know.

What I do know is that the incident occurred over a much longer time period that 1:30. And I know that a veteran deputy with over 20 years of service keeping this county safe will never be the same. I know a family that is angry and mourning the loss of their loved one will never be the same either, and our department’s thoughts and prayers are with all of them.

And for those reasons alone, none of us are in a position to condemn anyone involved. There is an investigation that has to be conducted, and it will be fair and just. It won’t take place on Facebook or around the water coolers of workplaces in the days that follow. It will take place in the experienced and professional hands of unbiased investigators committed to finding the truth amid so much chaos.

What we as a community should do is hope and pray that those investigators do the best job they can, and that while they are, the people and families affected by last night’s events find peace in the days and months to come.

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