SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Emotions ran high Monday evening as citizens asked officials about the officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of Anthony Childs.
At one point, his grandmother broke down in tears.
The Caddo coroner’s office has ruled that Childs shot himself Feb. 5 during the encounter with Shreveport police near Hollywood Avenue at Kennedy Drive.
Many citizens at the gathering said they don’t believe this was a suicide.
They continue to question police policies and the explanation authorities have given for Childs’ death.
“When did Mr. Childs fire his shot? Because they were the same sound, same sound,” one citizen said, referencing dash cam video.
Caddo Coroner Dr. Todd Thoma told those gathered Monday evening that he reviewed witness statements from citizens and officers, dash cam video and other evidence and that all of it was consistent.
Police reports state that Officer Trevion Brooks fired eight shots and Childs fired one shot.
Thoma said the fatal shot was fired at a close range.
Evidence also shows the officer never got close enough, instead firing his shots from a distance, the coroner explained.
“I can tell you it was one of the first two shots,” Thoma said. "There were two shots, bam bam. One was shot by the officer. One was fired by Mr. Childs.
"At that point in time, Mr. Childs would have fallen to the ground. He was standing when those first two shots were fired. When he shot himself in the chest, he went down to the ground.”
Pastor Linus Mayes, who organized the Monday’s event, said people were there to get answers and to come up with solutions within communities.
Some citizens called Monday for the creation of a citizens’ review board.
“I know within the first week or so there were some concerns within the community of the investigation,” Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond said. “I just want to make it clear in any officer-involved shooting, any homicide of any nature, we are purposely hush-hush initially because we don’t want to get information wrong.”
Based on the evidence and Thoma’s ruling, the Caddo district attorney’s office has declined to review the case.
Caddo District Attorney James Stewart and Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins were invited to Monday’s gathering but did not attend.
Along with Thoma and Raymond, Shreveport Councilman Willie Bradford was among officials who did attend.