A Black man was shot 11 times while walking away from police officers outside of a Lafayette, Louisiana convenience store on Friday (Aug. 22). The man, now identified as 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin, was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Swarmed by approximately six police officers who were responding to a public disturbance call “involving a person armed with a knife,” Pellerin was asked to drop to the ground. He then reached for the door to the Shell station. At that point, police fired off 11 rounds.
Louisiana State Police said that the officers tased him first in an attempt to apprehend him. Police Chief Scott Morgan confirmed that at least one officer fired their gun.
Rickasha Montgomery, a bystander who captured the incident, said that she saw a knife in the man’s hand as he walked away from the cops.
“When I heard the gunshots, I couldn’t hold my phone like I was first filming,” Montgomery told the Lafayette Daily Advertiser. “I feel kind of scared about it. I’m traumatized. You’re so used to hearing about this, but I never thought I would experience it.”
Several cops surrounded a Black man and fatally shot him 10+ times tonight in Lafayette, LA! He reportedly had a knife and was walking away from police, but didn’t deserve to die — they acted as judge jury and executioner. We demand JUSTICE and ANSWERS. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/6gI3rNU4FH— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 22, 2020
The video went viral and caught the attention of civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
“Several cops surrounded a Black man and fatally shot him 10+ times tonight in Lafayette, [Louisiana]!” he tweeted. “He reportedly had a knife and was walking away from police, but didn’t deserve to die—they acted as judge, jury and executioner. We demand justice and answers.”
“Cell phone video from the scene clearly shows Mr. Pellerin moving away – not towards – police officers, only to be tased and then brutally shot dead,” Alanah Odoms Hebert of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana said in a statement Saturday (Aug. 22). “Trayford Pellerin should be alive today. Instead, a family is mourning and a community is grieving. Mr. Pellerin’s family and the people of Lafayette deserve answers.”
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave with pay until an investigation is complete.