The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office released body cam footage of the fatal shooting of Roger Fortson.

Fortson, 23, was a decorated U.S. Air Force Senior Airman.

The airman was shot multiple times by a deputy after police allegedly came to the wrong apartment.

The tragedy occurred at Fortson’s off-base residence in Okaloosa County, Florida.

“Police had responded to a ‘disturbance’ call and knocked on the wrong door. According to Fortson’s girlfriend who was on a FaceTime call with him, Fortson had no clue what was going on when he heard a knock at the door. Out of caution, he retrieved his gun when he didn’t hear the officer say anything,” Collin Rugg wrote.

“When he opened the door, his gun appeared to be facing the ground however the officer shot him anyways. ‘Step back!’ the officer shouted as he began firing. Fortson was shot 6 times and was rushed to the hospital where he died,” he added.


Daily Mail reports:

A Okaloosa County deputy was responding to report of a disturbance and ‘reacted in self-defense after he encountered a 23-year-old man armed with a gun,’ cops say.

A witness, who was on FaceTime with Fortson during the time of the shooting, claimed Fortson heard a knock at the door and asked who was there.

When he did not receive a response but heard another ‘very aggressive knock,’ Fortson peered through the peephole – but did not see anyone and grew concerned.

Out of concern, Fortson retrieved a gun – which he owned legally, according to the witness.

When he returned to his living room with the gun, authorities allegedly pushed through his door and shot him six times.

The traumatized witness, who remained on the FaceTime call for the duration of the horrifying shooting, recalled that Fortson said ‘I can’t breathe,’ after the shots were fired. Fortson later died at the hospital.

The deputy involved in the incident has since been placed on administrative leave while the shooting continues to be investigated.

“The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal officer involved shooting that took place after a deputy made contact with an armed individual at an apartment off Racetrack Road late Friday afternoon. A deputy responded to 319 Racetrack Road around 4:30 p.m. in reference to a call of a disturbance in progress,” the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office stated in a news release.

“Hearing sounds of a disturbance, he reacted in self defense after he encountered a 23-year old man armed with a gun and after the deputy had identified himself as law enforcement. The man was taken to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. No deputies were injured. Per standard protocol the deputy is placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcoming of a formal investigation and administrative review,” it continued.

Fortson was based at the Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

He entered active duty in November 2019.

From Police Activity:

Okaloosa County, Florida — On May 3, 2024, at around 4:28 p.m., a Deputy with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of a disturbance in progress in Fort Walton Beach. The bodycam footage shows the deputy arriving at a Fort Walton Beach apartment building and speaking to a woman outside who described hearing an argument. The deputy then went up an elevator to the fourth floor and knocks on a door three times. He announces himself twice, saying, “Sheriff’s office, open the door.”.

The 23-year-old, Senior Airman Roger Fortson opened the door and could be seen holding a gun pointed down toward the floor. Within seconds of the apartment’s door opening, the deputy says “step back” and is then seen firing his weapon. Fortson immediately falls to the floor as the deputy fires. At least five shots are heard. After the shots, with Fortson on the ground, the deputy yells for Fortson to “drop the gun” and Fortson responds “it’s over there” and “I don’t have it.” The video ends with the deputy reporting that shots have been fired and requesting emergency medical services come to the scene. Fortson was taken to a hospital where he died.

Attorney Ben Crump, who has been hired by Fortson’s family, has said Fortson was talking to his girlfriend on FaceTime when the deputy arrived. Crump said Fortson grabbed his gun because he heard someone outside his apartment, got no response when he asked who was there and discovered the peephole on his door was blocked. Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden presented the redacted video hours after the family of Fortson and their attorneys held a news conference in which they disputed that the deputy acted in self-defense. Aden rejected assertions made by Crump, that the deputy had gone to the wrong apartment, covered the door’s peephole and did not announce himself.

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