Two Louisville Metro Police officers fatally shot a man on Sunday evening who was holding a screwdriver, according to body camera footage. In the footage released Tuesday, officers Devin Dawes and Matthew Aden can be seen shooting at the man, killing him at the scene. Both men have been with LMPD since 2015. Police responded around 7:45 p.m. Sunday to the 4600 block of Crawford Avenue, off Dixie Highway, where police said a man, 45-year-old Russell Bowman, was acting erratically. In the video, several officers were seen chasing Bowan who was pacing in front of a Pleasure Ridge Park home with a screwdriver in his right hand. Several officers pulled out their firearms asking him to drop the screwdriver. After telling Bowman to drop the screwdriver numerous times, several officers deployed their tasers. They didn’t work. “It ain’t working,” Bowman can be heard screaming in the video. Aden also told Bowman to put down the screwdriver. “Just drop it,” Aden yelled. “We don’t want to hurt you.” Bowman then lunged at Aden. Aden and Dawes shot him numerous times before he hit the ground. Other officers on scene then began rendering aid to him.
LMPD police chief Steve Conrad did not take any questions after the press conference, but he did reinstate the force’s use of deadly force policy. “Police work is a dangerous job that requires difficult split-second decisions that others will judge and scrutinize for a lifetime,” Conrad said. Deadly force is authorized in “defense of oneself or another” when a subject poses “an immediate threat or danger or serious injury to the officer or to another person,” according to LMPD’s standard operating proceedures. Bowman has been homeless several times and was also a former patient at Central State Mental Hospital, according to arrest citations. Most recently, he was arrested in 2017 for taking a metal crowbar to a bunch of business windows. He was arrested on multiple charges ranging from public intoxication and public urination to robbery and disorderly conduct. Both officers Aden and Dawes have received numerous letters of commendation. Both officers work in the third division, which encompasses Auburndale, Fairdale, Iroquois Park, Kenwood Hill as well as Pleasure Ridge Park.