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Dept. of Justice investigation shows Heaggan-Brown almost didn't pull his gun

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jun 21, 2017

An investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice found that former-Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown almost didn't pull out his gun before shooting Sylville Smith last summer.

Following the not guilty verdict delivered Wednesday, the DOJ released video captured at the scene of the shooting and a written interview, and Heaggan-Brown told investigators he almost didn't pull his gun that afternoon.

He told investigators that as he reached for his taser, a fellow officer yelled, "he has a gun." That's when he said he locked his taser back in his holster and pulled out his gun.

"They took off as soon as they see us,” Heaggan-Brown said. “The guy get out of the driver side and he got a gun and started running."

The intense moments during Aug. 13, 2016, were captured on police radio just before Smith was shot and killed.

"Foot pursuit. He has a gun. He's running eastbound. Shots fired, shots fired, shots fired," said an unidentified officer.

You can then hear Heaggan-Brown calmly explain what happened.

"I just fired shots, he is down right now," he said.

The photographs released by the DOJ show the gun Smith was carrying. Another gun was found in the front passenger seat of the car Smith was driving.  The car had out of state plates and officers suspected people inside were selling drugs. 

"He looked like a known dude that fled from us plenty of times before," Heaggan-Brown said.

After Smith was shot  Heaggan-Brown and Officer Ndiva Malafa check on each other.

"You good bro?" Malafa asked.

"Yep," responded Heaggan-Brown.

Malafa then went back to talk to Smith.

"Hang on brother. Hang on. Hang on brother," he said. 

Heaggan-Brown and another officer started CPR on Smith. Later, Heaggan-Brown was taken away from the scene, and he asked for medical attention for a bee sting he got during the shooting.

A search warrant for the car Smith was seen running from was found to have cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs in it.