Father of man killed by police says he's 'heartbroken for the officers'; video released
Rob Davis, who described his son as a loving person with mental health struggles, offered support for the involved officers
By Megan Cardona
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
FORT WORTH, Texas — Excerpts of body camera footage and 911 call audio released by the Fort Worth Police Department reveal the events that led up to a fatal shooting in the 10400 block of Bear Creek Trail on Tuesday.
Mitchell Robert Davis, 29, was fatally shot by an officer responding to a call about a person with a weapon near Davis' home around 12:30 p.m.
In the audio recording, released by the department Wednesday, Davis told the 911 operator that he had a gun and was worried he would kill his parents. He told the operator that he felt he was possessed and that he was going to hurt somebody.
"I'm across the street. I have a gun, and I'm worried I'm going to go in and kill my parents," Davis says in the recording.
"I just need you guys to come," he says. "I'm worried I'm gonna kill them. I feel like I'm possessed and I'm going to hurt somebody. I've got a gun in my pocket right now."
Three officers arrived on scene, according to Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes. In the body camera footage, the officers are seen approaching Davis in a park area behind his neighborhood. Davis is shown on his knees as police approach and then reaches with his right hand for what officers believed was firearm, and he points it at the officers, the video shows.
Noakes said in a video statement Wednesday that the object was not an actual firearm but, because of how realistic the fake gun appeared, the officers would have had no way of knowing whether it was real or not from a distance.
"This incident is another reminder of the dangers and irregularities of police work, of what officers go through every day when they're out in the community serving," Noakes said. "And it's another reminder of the split-second decisions they have to make based on the information they have at the time."
Mitchell Davis' father, Rob Davis, told WFAA-TV that his son struggled with mental illness.
"We have worked relentlessly with him, with medical professionals and counselors. Our family has rallied around him," Davis told WFAA. "In the end, it was becoming overwhelming, and he was terrified he was going to hurt someone."
Rob Davis said his son had an Airsoft gun and made the 911 call while out walking his dog.
Davis described his son as a kind person, deeply loved by everyone, who had struggled recently with increasing suicidal thoughts.
"Our family is heartbroken for the officers," Davis told WFAA. "Our heart goes out because we have the deepest admiration and respect and appreciation for what law enforcement does."
At least one officer fired a handgun and shot Mitchell Davis, police said. The department has not released how many shots were fired, or the officers' identities.
The officers and the 911 dispatcher commanded Davis to put his hands up, Noakes said.
"What you didn't see (in the video) was our call taker on the line with the individual for an extended amount of time trying to keep him calm, giving him commands to put his hands up as officers approached, and pleading with him over and over to put the gun down," the chief said.
Emergency medical attention was given to Davis, who succumbed to his injuries at the scene, police said. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office reported he died from multiple gunshot wounds.
The shooting is being investigated by the Major Case Unit in coordination with the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office and the Internal Affairs Unit, which is standard protocol, police said. The case will be presented to a grand jury at the conclusion of the investigation.
Police also reminded residents that if you or someone you love suffers from mental health issues, you can seek help by calling or texting 1-800-866-2465 or visiting mhmrtc.org.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.
(c)2021 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram