Man killed in officer-involved shooting was live on Facebook

Man killed in officer-involved shooting was live on Facebook
Scene of the shooting (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Scene of the shooting (Source: WMC Action News 5)

CROCKETT COUNTY, TN (WMC) - The man shot by police officers in Crockett County on Thursday was recording live on Facebook before the shooting happened. The camera on his phone continued to roll during and after the shooting that killed him.

The shooting happened at the intersection of Highway 412 and Highway 88 in Alamo, Tennessee, shortly after 2:15 p.m. Thursday.

TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said Rodney James Hess stopped his SUV on a street, blocking oncoming traffic. The shots were fired when Hess tried to hit deputies with the vehicle.

Hess remained silent throughout the more than 16 minute Facebook Live video he posted Thursday before his encounter with deputies. TBI investigators said deputies characterized Hess' statements and behavior as erratic.

"There were multiple officers at risk of injury when this incident escalated," DeVine said. "The subject was refusing officer commands and making erratic statements."

In the live video that remains posted to Hess' Facebook page, he spoke to one of the officers through the window.

"I would like the high in command," Hess said. "I would like the high in command to show up."

In the video, you could see that his vehicle began moving before the deputies opened fire. WMC Action News 5 made the decision not to show the rest of the video in which you can hear Hess scream and struggle before dropping his phone.

Hess was airlifted to Regional Medical Center where he later died. No officers were injured.

The man is from New Orleans, according to his identification. He had Texas tags on his vehicle. Hess' Facebook page said he attended Kirby High School in Memphis and University of Memphis.

A friend said Hess lived with his wife and young daughter in Galveston, Texas.

Hess' family members published a video to Facebook, asking for prayer and justice.

"We just prayin' for that justice will be served and if there's anything that's covered up, that it will be brought to light," the family wrote.

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