A Florida deputy who fatally shot a US airman has been discharged following an investigation

The authorities announced on Friday that the sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a Florida airman at his apartment earlier this month has been terminated from his position.

In a news release, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office announced the termination of Deputy Eddie Duran after an internal affairs investigation.

According to the sheriff’s office, their investigation concluded that Duran’s actions in the shooting death of Senior Airman Roger Fortson were deemed as “not objectively reasonable,” thus violating agency policy.

“The termination of the officer responsible for the tragic death of Roger Fortson is a positive development, but it falls short of achieving complete justice for Roger and his loved ones,” emphasized Ben Crump, the family’s attorney, in a statement released on Friday. “The actions of this deputy were not only negligent but also criminal. As the criminal investigation continues, we have strong expectations that charges will be brought against this officer. The video evidence indisputably reveals that this was a brutal and senseless killing of a young man who was merely enjoying a peaceful moment with his dog while conversing with his girlfriend.”

According to the sheriff’s office, Duran was originally sent to Fortson’s apartment complex in response to an ongoing physical altercation.

According to the sheriff’s office, Duran was guided to unit 1401 in the complex upon his arrival. The complex employee informed him that this was the location of the disturbance and further mentioned that there had been some unreported disturbances in or around the same apartment recently.

The family, however, released a statement contradicting that assertion. They claimed that Fortson was on a FaceTime call with his girlfriend before the shooting occurred. They also alleged that the deputy was directed to the wrong apartment.

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In the recently released body camera footage, a deputy from the sheriff’s office can be seen knocking on Fortson’s apartment door and identifying himself as a member of the sheriff’s office. As soon as the door opens, the deputy quickly instructs Fortson to step back.

According to Crump, during a press conference, Fortson was engaged in a FaceTime call with his girlfriend when he heard a knock on the door. Unable to identify the person on the other side, Fortson decided to retrieve his legally owned firearm.

Crump’s firm has also previously released a video of the FaceTime call, which seems to begin after the shooting. The video captures the view of the ceiling in Fortson’s apartment.

In the video, Fortson can be heard groaning and saying, “I can’t breathe.”

Sheriff’s investigators claim that when Fortson opened the door, Duran witnessed Fortson with a firearm in his right hand. However, the gun was pointed towards the ground, allowing the former deputy to clearly see the rear face of the rear sight.

According to the sheriff’s office, it was confirmed that Mr. Fortson did not physically resist Mr. Duran in any way, and the investigation also revealed that Mr. Fortson did not point the gun towards the former deputy.

In a statement released on Friday, Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden expressed his belief that the tragic incident should never have taken place. He stated that the objective facts simply do not support the use of deadly force as a suitable response to Mr. Fortson’s actions, as he had not committed any crime. Sheriff Aden further emphasized that Mr. Fortson was regarded as an outstanding airman and an exceptional individual.

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