Nearly two months after Javario Eagle, 24, was shot to death in Chattanooga, Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston announced on Wednesday he will not be filing charges against the six officers who killed him.
Pinkston said deadly force was justified in the shooting which took place on Dec. 12, at 5113 Woodland View Circle.
Just before noon that day, officers were originally dispatched to Emma Wheeler Homes on a call about “a mental health consumer who was speaking irrationally and in a highly agitated state,” police records show.
The first officer to arrive said that he found Eagle on the front porch of an apartment with his 4-year-old daughter playing outside.
He said he called Eagle over, but was ignored as Eagle walked back inside with the child. The officer then called a Crisis Response Team officer at 11:56 a.m.
The sound of a gunshot came from the apartment and Eagle began walking in and out of the apartment, ignoring dozens of requests to drop a gun he had retrieved from inside.
Finally, Eagle walked outside with the child and set her down before walking back inside. An officer quickly responded by leaving his cover to scoop up the girl and take her to safety.
But then Eagle came sprinting out of the house with the gun in one hand, a samurai sword in the other, and a bayonet tucked under his arm.
Police say that he initially he charged the officer before aiming at his back. Eagle was shot and fell on his side.
Officers who had taken up defensive positions around the perimeter began to move toward him, but when Eagle reached for his gun, multiple officers opened fire, shooting him another 18 times.
He later died of his injuries at a local hospital.
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department conducted a criminal investigation of Eagle’s death, the results of which were turned over to Pinkston for review on Jan. 27. From that information, he made the decision to not file charges on the six officers.
On Thursday Pinkston met with four family members to explain his decision to the distraught group, a spokesperson for Pinkston’s office said.
She also said the family members repeatedly said there were additional videos of the incident which disprove what the investigation revealed, but the owners of those videos are too scared to come forward with the information they have.
Pinkston encouraged them to get whatever witnesses were available to come forward and explained nothing more could be done unless new evidence surfaced.
One video of the shooting has already been put online and gunshots can clearly be heard as officers descend on an individual lying in the grass.
Just before the shooting, a person behind the yells from across the street at Eagle to “drop the gun.”