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Jeffersonville Police release body camera footage in fatal shooting

On March 9, three officers shot a man who reportedly fired multiple bullets in the air before pointing a gun at police. Family members said he suffered from PTSD.

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — The Jeffersonville Police Department is now releasing body camera footage from a fatal police shooting that occurred earlier this month.

On March 9, 44-year-old Robert Atkins was reportedly walking around an apartment complex with a gun on East Eighth Street.

The footage shows officers speaking with a witness who called police saying Atkins had a gun and was concerned for residents' safety.

During their conversation, a shot can be heard in the background. A second gunshot can later be heard as police begin approaching Atkins.

As officers attempt to grab non-lethal ammunition from their patrol vehicles, Atkins repeatedly points the gun at the officers and begins coming toward them.

That's when three of the five officers fired multiple shots at Atkins. 

Within a minute they began life-saving measures, which can be seen in the newly released footage.

Atkins was transported to a local hospital in critical condition where he later died.

Credit: Larry Atkins
Photo of Robert Atkins

During a press conference on March 10, Jeffersonville Police Chief Kenny Kavanaugh said the department's officers did everything they could appropriately to de-escalate the situation.

According to police, this wasn't the first time officers had met Atkins.

On March 10, Kavanaugh said the day before the shooting, officers responded to a report of Atkins "acting erratic" inside a vehicle. Police said he was having a mental health crisis and was seeking a voluntary mental health evaluation.

Atkins' family said he was a military veteran who had served in Afghanistan and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The department said all five officers involved remain on administrative leave.

Indiana State Police is leading an ongoing investigation into the shooting.

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