Rodney James Hess Killed By Police While Streaming On Facebook Live
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said that state officials are investigating the shooting death of Rodney James Hess, 36, along Highway 412 near Alamo, Tennessee.
Hess, who is black, was unarmed and captured part of the exchange while live-streaming on Facebook Live. Unfortunately, his stream didn’t capture any footage of the officers who shot into his windshield on Thursday, according to CNN.
“During the escalation of events, at least one Crockett County deputy fired his service weapon through the front windshield of the vehicle driven by Hess, striking him,” TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said in a statement. “At this time, we do not believe Hess used a firearm in connection to this incident.”
The officers engaged Hess because his truck was reportedly parked in a perpendicular angle along the highway. The Crockett County sheriff’s deputies then claim that Hess attempted to hit them with his vehicle before opening fire. On Hess’ stream, he can be heard telling the officers he would “like the higher commands to come out.”
After being shot, Hess drove off before crashing and being transported to a hospital where he died.
“At the time there was no threat,” said Don Rouzan, the Hess family attorney. “He was asking for a supervising officer and they opened fire.”
“We’re just praying that justice will be served and that if there’s anything covered up that it will be brought to justice, that it wouldn’t be just another black man shot by police officers,” said Lee Smith, Rodney Hess’ grandfather. “All we’re asking for is justice.”