Video: La. officer fatally shoots man who tried to take TASER during traffic stop

The man grabbed the officer's TASER that ended up on the ground in the struggle; the officer, lying on the ground under the man at that point, then fired his weapon


By Ellyn Couvillion
The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate

ALEXANDRIA, La. — Video released Sunday by Louisiana State Police as part of its investigation into a fatal, officer-involved shooting in Alexandria earlier this month shows the traffic stop quickly eroding into a struggle between the driver and a Rapides Parish sheriff's deputy.

The incident that happened over 58 seconds on 7th Street in Alexandria at about 1 p.m. on Nov. 6 ended seconds after the driver, Derrick J. Kittling, 45, grabbed the officer's taser that ended up on the ground in the struggle; the officer, lying on the ground under Kittling at that point, then fired his weapon.

Kittling is the brother of State Police Lt. Col. Kenny Van Buren, who is not involved in the investigation, State Police have said.

The "critical incident briefing" video was posted on the LSP Facebook page Sunday, "to give the community a better understanding" of the case, Lt. Melissa Matey, a State Police spokesperson, said in the posting.

It includes video from the officer's body-worn camera, the deputy's dashboard camera in his patrol unit and footage provided by a bystander.

"The investigation is still in its early stages," Matey said.

Viewer discretion is advised. In the videos, the firing of the gun can be heard; Kittling is mostly out of view at that point. After firing his weapon, the officer, heard breathing heavily, gets back into his unit and calls for emergency medical services.

Kittling was transported to a local hospital for treatment, but died of his injuries.

The Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office called for the investigation about an hour after the incident.

Louisiana State Police is the lead investigating agency into shooting. The incident scene was processed by Louisiana State Police Crime Lab Technicians, with the assistance of Alexandria Police Department crime scene investigators.

The body cam video and dash board video show the start of the traffic stop, with Kittling getting out of his pickup truck and appearing to start walking away.

The deputy calls repeatedly to Kittling to walk to the back of the truck and face the truck.

"For what?" Kittling asks, walking to the back of the truck but continuing to face the deputy.

The struggle breaks out as the deputy attempts to turn Kittling around and handcuff him, with both men seen falling to the ground and glimpses of the struggle for control of the taser recorded.

It is unclear from the videos if either of the men was tasered; someone cries out more than once in the recordings.

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