Quantcast

911 call for help turns tragic - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

911 call for help turns tragic

Posted: Updated:
SHREVEPORT, La -

On October 15th, 2013, first responders were called to Americana Drive in Shreveport, the home of 58-year-old John Shepherd, for a man in medical distress.  But quickly, the night turned to tragedy – as police ended up shooting Shepherd, resulting in his death.

The Caddo Parish District Attorney's investigation describes Shepherd becoming combative with firefighters who were unable to tend to his medical issues because he chased them out of the home with a knife.  He was later found to have high levels of Oxycodone in his system.  The EMS crew requested Shreveport Police for back-up, which is not uncommon. The D.A. says the responding officer, Phillip Tucker was told en route to the scene, that Shepherd had a knife and that one neighbor reported shots fired.  

The police dash cam video shows Officer Tucker arrive, take his shotgun and walk to the scene. The firemen can be seen in their reflective gear running back and forth, consistent with the D.A.'s report—which said Shepherd would move toward, then retreat from where the firemen and Tucker were.  According to authorities, both the firemen and the officer ordered Shepherd to put the knife down and show his hands.  When he didn't, and advanced on them, Tucker discharged the shotgun one time, hitting Shepherd in the chest from 9 feet away.  Shepherd was treated at the scene, and then taken to University Health where he was declared dead.

The D.A.'s report concluded that tucker responded in a reasonable manner, and criminal charges were not filed against him.  Police officers are forced to make split second decisions. Decisions that, in this case, led to Shepherd's death.  What about Officer Tucker's training influenced the decision he made that night?

"We can't give them every single scenario they may be confronted with, but we do continual, ongoing service training as far as use of force."  Cpl. Rodney Horton is a Use of Force Instructor with the Shreveport Police Department.

While Shreveport officers are given scenario based training, to deal with different types of people and situations, they say a threat is a threat.

"If they get on scene and it is a person, it doesn't matter if it's a person with mental history, if an officer perceives that someone is going to do some physical harm to him, create great bodily injury or harm to them," says Cpl. Horton, "they have to do what they have to do to protect the citizens of Shreveport and themselves."

Shreveport officers do have what are called less-lethal options.  All officers have OC spray, a taser, and a baton, in addition to a handgun.  Some Shreveport officers have bean bag shot guns (another less-lethal weapon), and some have rifles and shotguns.  Cpl. Horton says they're trained on whatever tools they're given. 

In the review, the D.A. wrote "there is no requirement…that a deadly force situation be responded to with a "less lethal" option which may or may not be effective."  We asked Cpl. Horton, in which situations would less-lethal weapons not be effective. 

"With not only deadly force, but with every tool...whether it's a firearm, whether it's mace, it's not going to effective on every single person…The officer has to take the situation, based on his training, based on his perception," he says. "I've got 600 officers—they go to a situation, one of them may choose to use a less-lethal option where the other officer chooses to use deadly force, and they both may be absolutely correct."

We also asked Cpl. Horton about whether officers are trained to strike a person, with a deadly weapon, in a certain spot so as to avoid killing them.  He says officers are trained to shoot the center mass of whatever target they have available to them.  That could be a person's full body, or just an arm or leg.

In the department that receives 700-900 service calls a day, officers are trained on a variety of lethal and less lethal weapons.  They are also given a lot of leeway to make split second decisions; decisions that mean the difference between life and death. 

Click here for the full Caddo Parish D.A.'s review of the case.

A longer version of the SPD dash cam video can be found above.

  • Crime StoppersMore>>

  • Kenneth Willis' capital murder case delayed, state will assign new counsel

    Kenneth Willis' capital murder case delayed, state will assign new counsel

    Monday, September 15 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-09-16 00:01:38 GMT
    Kenneth Willis (Photo: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)Kenneth Willis (Photo: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)
    Less than a month before his jury selection scheduled to start, Judge Brady O'Callaghan pushed back accused child killer Kennth Willis's trial.
    Less than a month before his jury selection scheduled to start, Judge Brady O'Callaghan pushed back accused child killer Kennth Willis's trial.
  • Tattoo could lead to arrest in Shreveport UPS break-in

    Tattoo could lead to arrest in Shreveport UPS break-in

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:37:47 GMT
    Crimestoppers has cash for clues to a crime that was caught on camera.It happened September 6th at the UPS store in the 2500 block of Bert Kouns in Shreveport.
    Crimestoppers has cash for clues to a crime that was caught on camera.It happened September 6th at the UPS store in the 2500 block of Bert Kouns in Shreveport.
  • Names of Shreveport Police officers in shooting incident released

    Names of Shreveport Police officers in shooting incident released

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:18:51 GMT
    The Shreveport Police Department has released the names of two officers involved in a shooting incident Saturday evening in north Shreveport.On September 14, Officers Barbara Kendrick and Marie Jones were placed on routine paid administrative leave by Chief of Police Willie Shaw pending an investigation into a shooting incident which occurred at approximately 10:20 p.m. on September 13.During the incident, Officers Kendrick and Jones were actively searching the grounds of an apartment complex...
    The Shreveport Police Department has released the names of two officers involved in a shooting incident Saturday evening in north Shreveport.On September 14, Officers Barbara Kendrick and Marie Jones were placed on routine paid administrative leave by Chief of Police Willie Shaw pending an investigation into a shooting incident which occurred at approximately 10:20 p.m. on September 13.During the incident, Officers Kendrick and Jones were actively searching the grounds of an apartment complex...
  • KTBS 3 InvestigatesMore>>

  • Shreveport mayoral candidate "doubled dipped" thousands of dollars

    Shreveport mayoral candidate "doubled dipped" thousands of dollars

    Monday, September 15 2014 2:00 PM EDT2014-09-15 18:00:14 GMT
    There's more "double dipping" trouble for a candidate for Shreveport mayor.Back in May, we showed you how Patrick Williams explained away one questionable hotel reimbursement. But our research has turned up a pattern of double dipping by the state representative. That is, he got paid back twice for the same expense.Our research from just the year 2012 shows that williams double dipped 45 times for a total amount of $4,021.88. He was paid back once by the state of Louisiana -- the taxpayers --...
    There's more "double dipping" trouble for a candidate for Shreveport mayor.Back in May, we showed you how Patrick Williams explained away one questionable hotel reimbursement. But our research has turned up a pattern of double dipping by the state representative. That is, he got paid back twice for the same expense.Our research from just the year 2012 shows that williams double dipped 45 times for a total amount of $4,021.88. He was paid back once by the state of Louisiana -- the taxpayers --...
  • Closing a "fatal gap:" How Louisiana is doing 9 months after enhanced background check laws go into effect

    Closing a "fatal gap:" How Louisiana is doing 9 months after enhanced background check laws go into effect

    Monday, September 8 2014 12:16 PM EDT2014-09-08 16:16:54 GMT
    Tuesday, September 9 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-09-09 22:00:26 GMT
    About one year ago, KTBS brought you a startling investigation into federal background checks for firearm purchases. Background checks are supposed to weed out felons and mental defectives. But Louisiana had reported zero mental defectives to the FBI's background check system, making us one of the worst states for keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Because of that, lawmakers passed laws to fix these broken background checks. Until this law went into effect, someone could walk...
    About one year ago, KTBS brought you a startling investigation into federal background checks for firearm purchases. Background checks are supposed to weed out felons and mental defectives. But Louisiana had reported zero mental defectives to the FBI's background check system, making us one of the worst states for keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Because of that, lawmakers passed laws to fix these broken background checks. Until this law went into effect, someone could walk...
  • The Military’s Search for 1 little boy ends in Shreveport: "Hope you make it." ---- Gavin

    The Military’s Search for 1 little boy ends in Shreveport: "Hope you make it." ---- Gavin

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-08-21 14:31:10 GMT
    Saturday, September 6 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-09-06 21:02:06 GMT
    © "Hope you make it." ----Gavin© "Hope you make it." ----Gavin
     Airmen and soldiers serving in Afghanistan found laughter in difficult times, all courtesy of 4 little words in a letter from a school child – “Hope you make it. – Gavin” The troops wanted to meet the young man who inspired them so much.
     Airmen and soldiers serving in Afghanistan found laughter in difficult times, all courtesy of 4 little words in a letter from a school child – “Hope you make it. – Gavin” The troops wanted to meet the young man who inspired them so much.
  • ArkLaTex SlideshowsMore>>

  • Just for fun: Look at 2013 Pumpkins and Punkins #3harvest

    Just for fun: Look at 2013 Pumpkins and Punkins #3harvest

    Saturday, September 13 2014 11:23 PM EDT2014-09-14 03:23:09 GMT
    © A look back at Fall 2013© A look back at Fall 2013
    Thank you to all of our viewers who sent us your pumpkins and punkins pictures. #3harvest
    Thank you to all of our viewers who sent us your pumpkins and punkins pictures. #3harvest
  • KTBS Friday Football Fever 9-12-14

    KTBS Friday Football Fever 9-12-14

    Saturday, September 13 2014 6:22 PM EDT2014-09-13 22:22:46 GMT
    KTBS Friday Football Fever is in full swing, Check it out
    KTBS Friday Football Fever is in full swing, Check it out
  • North LA Criminal Justice Academy graduates 15

    North LA Criminal Justice Academy graduates 15

    Friday, May 23 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-05-23 21:03:25 GMT
    Friday, May 23 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-05-23 21:03:25 GMT
    Photy by: Josh Cagle, Bossier Parish Sheriff's OfficePhoty by: Josh Cagle, Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office
    Fifteen recruits from four agencies became certified P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards and Training) law enforcement officers during the graduation of Class 011 from North Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy May 23.
    Fifteen recruits from four agencies became certified P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards and Training) law enforcement officers during the graduation of Class 011 from North Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy May 23.
  • Assignment EducationMore>>

  • Fighting School Violence

    Fighting School Violence

    Monday, September 8 2014 2:14 PM EDT2014-09-08 18:14:17 GMT
    Friday, September 12 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-13 03:33:54 GMT
    Although school violence at any level is unacceptable, school leaders say schools are not more dangerous now than they where a decade Ago.One recent tragedy of an in school homicide has put a spotlight on violent behavior in students to the public's attention.
    Although school violence at any level is unacceptable, school leaders say schools are not more dangerous now than they where a decade Ago.One recent tragedy of an in school homicide has put a spotlight on violent behavior in students to the public's attention.
  • Interim member chosen for vacant seat on Caddo School Board

    Interim member chosen for vacant seat on Caddo School Board

    Friday, September 12 2014 6:14 PM EDT2014-09-12 22:14:32 GMT
    Dorothy Nell Warren Fisher is sworn in as interim Caddo Parish School Board member.Dorothy Nell Warren Fisher is sworn in as interim Caddo Parish School Board member.
    Caddo School Board members have chosen an interim member to fill the seat left vacant following the death of Lillian Priest of district seven.The board just wrapped up interviews with the seven candidates and they selected Dorothy Nell Warren Fisher.
    Caddo School Board members have chosen an interim member to fill the seat left vacant following the death of Lillian Priest of district seven.The board just wrapped up interviews with the seven candidates and they selected Dorothy Nell Warren Fisher.
  • Louisiana Tech welcomes largest freshman class since new admission standards put in place

    Louisiana Tech welcomes largest freshman class since new admission standards put in place

    Thursday, September 11 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-09-11 18:55:30 GMT
    More than 1,200 students were estimated to attend Louisiana Tech's Freshman Convocation on September 3, 2014. They did not all fit in Howard Auditorium. A couple hundred had to watch via a video feed in the Student Union.More than 1,200 students were estimated to attend Louisiana Tech's Freshman Convocation on September 3, 2014. They did not all fit in Howard Auditorium. A couple hundred had to watch via a video feed in the Student Union.

    “We really won't know until the 9th class day, but we expect about a 15 percent increase in the size of our freshman class,” said Dr. James King, vice president of the University.

    “We really won't know until the 9th class day, but we expect about a 15 percent increase in the size of our freshman class,” said Dr. James King, vice president of the University.

  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File