THE INVESTIGATORS: Records show man killed by law enforcement had previous armed confrontation with police

Updated: Jul. 20, 2020 at 9:42 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Hours after the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) released video of a deadly officer-involved shooting near Tigerland, the 9News Investigators have learned more about the man who was killed.

Records reveal Monday’s (July 20) incident was not the first time Vincent Harris had been involved in an armed confrontation with police when they showed up to his door.

There was chaos and confusion almost immediately in one of two body camera videos released by the department Monday afternoon. Four officers and a K-9 officer can be seen arriving at an apartment on Tigerland Avenue around 1:30 a.m. The four officers and a K-9 officer can be heard yelling for whoever is inside to show their hands. Moments after the K-9 officer moves in, one of the officers can be heard screaming “he’s got a gun” before the gunshots start.

RELATED STORY: Suspect killed in officer-involved shooting in Tigerland was wanted for violent felony; identity released

Another video released by the department does not have sound, but shows officers searching the apartment before the shooting started. BRPD Chief Murphy Paul says Harris was hidden for a time before confronting the officers.

“After confirming the subject was hiding inside the apartment, officers attempted to contact him,” said Chief Paul. “Because we are in the early stages of this investigation, we are limited to the details we can disclose at this time.”

It’s still very early in the investigation, but we do know police were called to the apartment looking for Harris based on multiple tips to Crime Stoppers. Chief Paul says Harris was wanted on multiple charges, including attempted second-degree murder, aggravated second-degree battery, kidnapping, and domestic abuse battery. A Crime Stoppers bulletin from early May shows police had been trying to track him down for months. Monday morning, that search came to an end when Chief Paul says Harris confronted officers with a weapon.

”When the suspect pointed the weapon at the officers, they fired, striking him,” he added. “No officers were injured during the incident, but a K-9 was hurt and a suspect is deceased as a result.”

According to records the 9News Investigators found, Harris was accused of attacking his girlfriend with a knife earlier this year. An arrest warrant says he punched her several times and severely cut four of her fingers with a long edged weapon.

”He was a fugitive and there was an active warrant out for him for some felonies. It was definitely a violent felony and a domestic related incident,” the chief said.

Police are not releasing the full body cam video of this incident out of respect for the family, but based on what they’ve released so far, it sounds eerily similar to another run-in Harris had with police back in 2016. This time, officers were responding to another domestic call and found Harris with a gun. An arrest report says the officer had to tell him several times to drop his weapon before he finally complied. Later, it was determined the weapon was a BB gun made to look real.

All four officers involved in the deadly shooting are on paid leave right now as the department works to determine exactly what happened.

”Both our detective division and our internal affairs division are conducting investigations into this incident,” the chief added.

The department has up to 60 days to look into the case. Currently, there’s no exact timeline on how soon that investigation will wrap up.

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