A white Louisiana police officer has been arrested for shooting and killing an unarmed black man who was trying to run away during a domestic call, authorities said.
After reviewing footage from officers’ body cameras, state troopers charged Shreveport officer Alexander Tyler, 23, with negligent homicide in the Feb. 3 death of 43-year-old Alonzo Bagley.
Tyler’s arrest came the same day Louisiana State Police released graphic body camera video of the shooting along with audio from the 911 recording reporting the domestic disturbance.
Two officers responded to the disturbance around 10:50 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Villa Norte Apartments in Shreveport. In the 911 call, a person who identified herself as Bagley’s wife said her husband was “loaded on something” and threatening her and her daughter after coming home “raged and acting the fool.”
Tyler and another unidentified officer arrived at the apartment, where Bagley opened the door holding a glass bottle with brown liquid.
Bagley said that he had to put away his dog, walked to the back of the apartment onto a balcony, jumped to the ground outside and fled. The officers gave chase.
Col. Lamar Davis, the superintendent of Louisiana State Police, previously said that as Tyler rounded the corner of the building, he spotted Bagley and fired a single shot, which struck the man in the chest.
In the newly released footage, Bagley can be heard groaning, “Oh God, you shot me,” as he slumps to the ground with his arms raised and bleeding profusely.
The officers immediately start administering first aid, with an audibly distressed Tyler repeating the words: “No, no, no, no no, man, no.”
Tyler is then heard sobbing as his colleague, who takes charge of the life-saving measures, tries to reassure him, saying: “you’re good.”
‘No, man! Come on, dude! Stay with me, stay with me, man!” Tyler exclaims while putting pressure on Bagley’s wound to try and stop the bleeding.
The other officer later instructs Tyler to run to the front of the building and wave down the responding paramedics with his flashlight.
The cop continues tending to Bagley, but it’s clear from the recording that he is becoming increasingly frantic in view of Bagley’s deteriorating condition.
“Hey, look at me! Look at me! Look at me!” the officer screams. “Wake up! Wake up! Look at me!… Hey, respond! Come on!”
After the shooting, Tyler made “multiple statements claiming the suspect came toward him and he could not see his hands,” according to court documents by state police. Investigators did not find any weapons in Bagley’s possession.
Following his arrest, Tyler was released on $25,000 bond pending his arraignment set for April 3.
His attorney, J. Dhu Thompson, spoke to the station KSLA outside the Caddo Parish Courthouse before Tyler was formally charged.
“These are split-second decisions that officers have to make,” Thompson said. “You and I have the benefit of hindsight, we can sit down in a comfortable room with a cup of coffee and review this video.
“That’s not the position that Officer Tyler was in, or any other officer that puts his life on the line on a day-to-day basis and encounters these type of situations.”
Tyler, who has been on the police force since May 2021, is currently on paid administrative leave, Shreveport Police Chief Wayne Smith said Thursday. Smith said, to his knowledge, Tyler had been involved in one policy violation in which there was “violence to a suspect” but did not elaborate further.
If convicted of negligent homicide, Tyler could face up to five years in prison.
Bagley’s family members have filed a $10 million lawsuit against Tyler, accusing him of violating the victim’s constitutional rights.
“The lethal force used against Mr. Bagley was unjustified, unreasonable, excessive, and in violation of Mr. Bagley’s rights under the United States Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana,” the lawsuit said, which was filed by Bagley’s wife, mother and stepdaughter.
The family has hired a Louisiana attorney Ronald Haley, who has represented other high-profile clients, including the family of a black motorist who died in 2019 in state police custody.
During a Thursday afternoon press conference with some of Bagley’s relatives, Haley said the fact that Bagley fled from police should not equate to a “death sentence.”
“Flight does not mean shoot to kill,” Haley said. “Flight does not mean you are the judge, jury and executioner, and that’s what happened. That was what happened in this case … and it is an incident that we see far too often in the state. It’s an incident that we see far too often around this country.”
During the news conference, Bagley’s brother, Xavier Sudds, said he hopes his sibling’s death “means something.”
“I appreciate everybody’s condolences and prayers but none of that compares to the pain that I’m feeling, the pain that my mom is feeling. … That’s going to linger for a while, for a long time,” Sudds said.