SHREVEPORT, La. -- "Once he pulled that gun up and took a shot, as far as I'm concerned, that decision making time was over.”
That’s what Caddo Parish sheriff’s Cpl. Stephen Ashcraft told investigators following his involvement in a fatal shooting earlier this year.
KTBS-3 Investigates obtained interviews and evidence related to the shooting death of a murder suspect -- at the hands of four law enforcement officers. It happened in April behind a house on South Lakeshore Drive.
Here’s out it unfolded.
- Caddo 911: “What’s your emergency?”
- Caller: “Someone just broke my window.”
It was around lunchtime on April 7 when a man broke into the house on South Lakeshore Drive. The homeowner was inside.
- Caller: "Please hurry. Please, please."
- Caddo 911: "Just stay on the phone with me, ok?"
It took three minutes for deputies to arrive. And within seconds -- the suspect was dead.
"I could see that the suspect was hit. I continued to engage all the way to the ground. I stopped once he hit the ground and stopped moving, everybody stopped,” Ashcraft said.
He and the three Louisiana State Police troopers – Sgt. Chad Finn, Trooper Garrett Monroe, Trooper Chris Perry -- who fired at suspect Derek Swanson were cleared of wrongdoing.
To understand what led up to that moment, it's important to know what happened in the days leading up, beginning April 3. That's when Shreveport police say Swanson shot and killed his girlfriend, Taylor Baskin.
"She was a sweet girl, loving friendly, a great mom to my great niece and nephew. She always had a smile on her face every time you saw her,” said Mary Stoker, Baskin’s aunt.
Police told the public to be on the lookout for Swanson. On April 6, a woman recognized him from a photo on Facebook and called 911.
- 911 call: "I saw the guy Derek that had shot his girlfriend. He's walking down Jefferson Page Road."
Caddo sheriff’s Cpl. Jermaine Kelly responded.
"When I drove up, I opened my driver’s side door and was like, 'Hey, listen, let me talk to you and see your hands.' And he was like, 'What did I do? What did I do?' and 'I was like, let me see your hands.'" Kelly said.
Kelly mentioned in his interview with investigators that he noticed an issue with his body-worn mic, so the dash cam footage is silent. But a short conversation took place as Swanson reaches for his right hip, quickly pulls a gun and fires before running into the woods.
Investigators searched for hours with no sign of Swanson.
"It was so fast,” Kelly said.
That is until that 911 call on April 7.
- Caller: "Oh my God, I think I hear him. Please hurry."
- Caddo 911: "Deputies are outside."
"We heard glass break from the back side of the house,” Ashcraft said in his interview.
Ashcraft, Finn, Monroe and Perry ran to the back yard and saw Swanson. None of them were wearing body cameras.
"I heard Sgt. Finn challenge whoever he had seen. And as I made my way back to the west behind the house, saw a male, no shirt, come up, fire one shot, looked like. And at that point, I took my rifle off safety and engaged,” Ashcraft said.
- CPSO dispatch: "Shots fired at that location. Suspect is down."
According to investigators, four law enforcement officers fired a total of 29 shots. As many as 10 of them hit Swanson.
- Caddo 911: "They caught him outside, Miss Lydia."
- Caller: Crying
- Caddo 911: "You called just in time. Thank you. We've been looking for him all night."
Next to Swanson’s body was a revolver and a container of food he stole from the fridge inside Miss Lydia's house.
No officers were hurt.