Douglas County sheriff’s deputies got the call around 8:20 p.m. Monday. The security guard for a mobile home park in Douglasville, Georgia, said he had just been held at gunpoint for 45 minutes as he made his evening rounds.
That was around the same time that Bobby Daniels, 48, got the frantic calls from loved ones – his 25-year-old son Bias was having an emotional breakdown, he had a gun and had just been holding a hostage.
Bobby Daniels beat the deputies there, and according to family members talked his despondent son into putting the weapon down on the hood of a car. Moments later, the father of five was shot twice – not by his son, but by a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy.
Daniels’ death is one of more than 960 fatal police shootings by on-duty police officers in 2015, according to a Washington Post database, and the 246th black person to be fatally shot by the police this year.
And, as has often been the case in the aftermath of police shootings this year, police officials and the slain man’s family tell contradictory stories of how Bobby Daniels ended up shot and dying on the asphalt.
“Bobby came for the purpose of calming his son down, he arrived before even the police,” said Chris Stewart, a civil rights attorney representing the Daniels family. “His son pointed the weapon at Bobby, and forced him to sit back into the car, and that’s when the police arrived with their weapons drawn.”
The family believes that Bias Daniels was going through a mental and emotional breakdown, which is a common precursor to police shootings this year. Roughly a quarter of all people shot and killed by the police this year have been in the midst of a mental health crisis, according to a Post analysis.
Stewart said that Bobby Daniels than continued to reason with his son, eventually convincing him to set the gun down on the hood of the car.
It was then, Stewart says, that deputies attempted to use a stun gun on Bias Daniels – but it was ineffective because he was wearing a heavy coat. Bias Daniels then took a step toward the gun and, in what the family describes as an attempt to keep his son from getting the weapon, Bobby Daniels also went for the gun.
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