Wanted man shot by Fort Worth officers also shot himself

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The man who was shot by Fort Worth officers Sunday also shot himself, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office.

The fatal shooting caused tension in Fort Worth, with many demanding the release of the body camera video.

Fort Worth Police Department Interim Chief Ed Kraus held a news conference Thursday morning to discuss 20-year-old Jaquavion Slaton's death. He then released video of the shooting to show transparency.

"There's an expectation that body camera footage is going to provide clear specific details that give a definitive view of what happened. That is simply not the case in this," Kraus said.

On Sunday, officers tried to arrest Slaton on a warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He and Javon Monroe ran from the car after police stopped them.

Monroe complied commands after police caught up to him. He was arrested without incident.

But in Slaton's case, there was a different outcome. Body camera video shows him running with what appears to be a gun. He then hid in a pickup truck. The interim chief said as police closed in on him he ignored orders and made a move that caused officers to react.

"Hands up. Hands motherf*****! Hands. Put your hands up! Hands up! He's reaching. [Shots fired] Cease fire! Cease fire! Cease fire!" officers can be heard saying in the body camera video.

"Slaton raised the handgun. Our officers perceived that as a threat and reacted. They gave him several lawful orders and unfortunately he failed to comply," Kraus said.

Sources told FOX4 that investigators believe Slayton shot himself at or around the same time that officers opened fire on him.

The medical examiner determined he died from multiple gunshot wounds of the head and chest.

He had a "loose contact entry gunshot wound of the right temporal head. There is no video evidence to suggest that this shot was fired from a police weapon. This was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Investigation is continuing to determine whether this was an intentional or accidental gunshot injury inflicted by Slaton," the ME's report states.

The report also noted other gunshot wounds in the chest, shoulder, neck, head and arm. Two were high-velocity gunshot wounds and all were potentially fatal except for the gunshot wound to the arm, according to the report.

Fort Worth police included a photo of Slaton's blood-splattered gun. It was a 10-millimeter gun, not like weapons their officers carry. Chief Kraus also confirmed a spent shell casing from Slaton's weapon was collected as evidence at the scene. 

All the evidence will be sent to the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office for review. The interim police chief expects the case will go to a grand jury in a few months.

The police department's internal affairs unit will also investigate the shooting to determine if any policies were violated. The three officers who fired their weapons are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.


Relations between Fort Worth city leaders and people in the neighborhood have been strained since the shooting, especially during the public comment session of Tuesday's city council meeting.

Interim Chief Kraus said he hoped that by releasing the video, it would help build trust between the department and community.

But not all community leaders feel that way. They said the video is too little and too late.

"In all due respect to the chief, and him trying, his attempt to try to do something to appease us, I'm insulted," said Bishop Mark Kirkland, with Greater St. Mark Church.

After four days of demanding body camera video from Sunday afternoon's shooting, Bishop Kirkland said the chief has fallen short.

"Don't bring a total of 18 seconds worth of footage for this whole duration of time that this incident unfolded, and expect us to be satisfied with that," Kirkland said.

Instead, Kirkland said he wants to see the unedited, complete body camera footage showing the events leading up to the shooting.

"We want to see the footage in between," he added.

Kirkland does believe releasing part of the video is a step in the right direction.

"I think it's a move towards transparency that clearly, undeniably, I see that this young man has the firearm in his possession," he said.

Kirkland is standing by his statements from days ago that the police should have given Slaton the space to surrender.

"We got to the point of no return when they caged him in," Kirkland said.

Pastor Kyev Tatum viewed the footage as clear-cut evidence that police acted too quickly.

"The videos prove our point," he said.

Tatum believes the truck in which Slaton was hiding was in a secure back yard, which would have given officers the space to safely de-escalate the situation.

"What you should have done is backed up, regroup, call SWAT, take the same tape they used after he was dead, put it around so that nobody would run in that area, and try to talk him down and negotiate him out," Tatum said.

Kirkland is focused on demanding the rest of the body camera footage to corroborate the details released by police.

"Don't tell me that, let me see that. When you let me see that, then I'll believe it," Kirkland said.

Both pastors said the police chief has requested to meet with them and other community leaders privately. Kirkland plans to attend. Tatum said he won't.

"Right now, the relationship in my community in Stop Six, they do not trust the police," activist Richard Vazquez said. "We probably need to have a community meeting, but with the chief and with other officers, so our community can ask questions. What do we need to do as a community to not only have more of us survive but make the job easier, make our community safer?"

"I would love for Fort Worth to be a leader in how do we heal this, how do we get better education, more job opportunities, more places. This young man was not from Fort Worth, but there are young men and women like him in our community that we need to get that attention to," Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price added.