Chief Conrad Presser - 10-22-19

FILE: LMPD Chief Steve Conrad speaks during a news conference on Oct. 22, 2019, in Louisville, Ky.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer fired police chief Steve Conrad on Monday after learning that police officers did not record body-camera footage of the fatal shooting of David McAtee, a black man, in west Louisville in the early morning hours.

"This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated," Fischer said.

Conrad's firing comes only a month before he was set to retire after leading the department for eight years.

McAtee was killed amid a gunfight involving LMPD officers and National Guard troops who were trying to disperse a crowd at Dino's Food Mart, a gas station-restaurant at 26th Street and West Broadway.

The death of McAtee, who ran a bar-b-que stand near the area of last night's incident, has further inflamed community tensions about police brutality after four nights of consecutive protests over the March killing of Breonna Taylor.

LMPD acting chief Robert Schroeder, who was promoted from his role as assistant chief on Monday, said during Fischer's news conference that police don't know who shot McAtee.

"We do not know if it was related to a separate incident (or) if it was due to the shots fired by our officers and the national guardsmen soldiers who accompanied them," Schroeder said.

Earlier on Monday, before his firing, Conrad implied that law enforcement was responsible for McAtee's death, saying, "Officers and soldiers ... were shot at.  Both LMPD and National Guard members returned fire. We have one man dead at the scene."

But later on Monday, a spokeswoman for the Fischer's office clarified: "What we know is that two LMPD officers and two Guardsmen fired their weapons. Determining who shot Mr. McAtee is part of the investigation."

The LMPD officers who fired shots, Katie Cruz and Austin Allen, have been placed on administrative leave, Schroeder said.

"We are working diligently to determine what happened," he said. "The community has a lot of questions and we share those questions."

The incident began about 12:15 am when police commanders sent the officers to the food mart to break up a big crowd and enforce Fischer's dusk-to-dawn curfew.

Silent video from the city's "real-time crime center" cameras mounted on utility poles shows, which Schroeder played during the news conference, "clearly shows the officers reacting to gunfire,” he said.

Schroeder also played audio from police radio transmissions, which reflected a frenetic scene.

Asked whether any LMPD officers were wearing active body cameras, Schroeder declined to answer, saying, "That is part of the investigation."

He promised "discipline" for the failure to comply with the department's body camera policy but did not elaborate.

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