Police ID officer who shot, killed man; body camera footage to b - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Police ID officer who shot, killed man; body camera footage to be released

Marcus-David Peters was shot and killed by police. (Source: Anthony Jones) Marcus-David Peters was shot and killed by police. (Source: Anthony Jones)
Michael Nyantakyi. (Source: Richmond police) Michael Nyantakyi. (Source: Richmond police)
Police said the man was not armed. (Source: NBC12) Police said the man was not armed. (Source: NBC12)
Police blocked off a large area off I-95 after the shooting. (Source: NBC12) Police blocked off a large area off I-95 after the shooting. (Source: NBC12)

The officer who shot and killed Marcus-David Peters on I-95 on Monday has been identified as Michael Nyantakyi.

Nyantakyi has been with Richmond police for 10 years and was placed on administrative leave following the shooting.

Police say Nyantakyi was alone at the time of the shooting and that other officers - including Virginia State Police troopers - arrived after the shots were fired.

The Richmond Police Department said Thursday afternoon that it will release Nyantakyi's body camera footage after the family has a chance to see it. 

"My primary concern during this difficult time has been for the family and for my officer,"  said Chief Alfred Durham. “They remain greatly affected by this tragic loss of life. Showing the complete, unedited video to the family will allow us to provide a greater understanding of the circumstances that led to the use of deadly force.”

The police department will hold a news conference after meeting with the family. 

“I want to clear the air and set the record straight,” said Durham. “There is so much misinformation out there right now. The facts are what should matter, here.”

Peters, 24, was shot in the abdomen May 14 after police say he hit another car at the intersection of W. Franklin and N. Belvidere streets and fled the scene. He later lost control of the vehicle on the I-95 on-ramp at Chamberlayne Avenue and hit two cars.

Peters was naked when he was shot. His death was ruled a homicide by the Medical Examiner’s Office, and police said he was unarmed.

Friends: Peters was 'one the most caring and selfless people you’d ever meet'

“Peters emerged from his disabled vehicle and ran into the northbound lanes of I-95,” Lepley said. “He was not wearing any clothes… [we’re trying to figure out] why he didn’t have any clothes on.”

"The perspective where a person acts in a very unusual way immediately begs the question: why?” said NBC12 safety analyst Mike Jones. “Is it a mental disorder? Is it a drug disorder?”

Police have not said whether drugs or alcohol were involved in the situation.

The incident closed down the interstate for a few hours while officers responded to the scene, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Monday afternoon Lepley said the man attacked an officer and forced him to use deadly force.

"Our officer attempted to use a taser on the person and it failed," Lepley said. "The attack continued and the officer drew his service weapon and discharged it striking that man."

However, many people in the community question the use of deadly force with an unarmed naked man.

"Officers are taught to stop the aggressor,” Jones said. “When things are that close and moving that fast, the ability to shoot someone in the knee or shoot a gun out of their hand is virtually impossible."

"We are all deeply affected by what happened here - by the loss of life," said Durham. "Our officers do not take the use of deadly force lightly. I think it’s important to remember that being naked does not remove a threat. So far, the eyewitness accounts we’ve heard have been consistent: our officer tried using verbal commands, then used non-lethal force first by deploying his Taser before using his service weapon."

"An unarmed person does not necessarily mean that you cannot be killed by an unarmed person,” Jones said. “I've seen cases where officers have been strangled with the bare hands of a suspect."

A witness said Peters was, "naked and rolling around on the interstate for some time before he stood to walk towards the cops." The witness added that "tasers were drawn and he was told to get down multiple times."

A woman who was walking home noticed the chaotic scene and said this incident is hard to believe.

“We've seen little accidents from time to time, protests,” said Vail Shepherd. “Normal things to Richmond city, but this is a little bit out of the ordinary I'd say.”

Another witness said he and his friend heard two shots as soon as police and the naked man disappeared from sight. As the two drove by, the witness saw the suspect face down in the bushes of the off ramp.

NBC12 legal analyst, Steve Benjamin, said it's appropriate for an officer to use deadly force when, "...it reasonably appears necessary to avoid death or serious injury. The use of a firearm is deadly force."

Detectives with FIT will review body-worn-camera videos and any other video evidence that can be located.

The visitation for Peters will be held at Andrews Funeral Home in Gloucester on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. The funeral home is located at 7192 Main Street.

There will be no funeral services for Peters.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Major Crimes Detective R. Wigfall at (804) 646-6769 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

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