Footage released after man initially found asleep shot and killed by DC officer in Northeast

Video footage from D.C. police body-worn cameras was released Thursday after a man who had been found sleeping in a car was shot and killed by an officer after waking up on New York Avenue in Northeast.

Antwan Gilmore, 27, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, was fired at 10 times by an officer in the incident. He died later at the hospital.

In a briefing Thursday, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said it was “very difficult to see through the lens of the officer, the one officer in this case that fired, it’s very difficult to see what that officer was seeing.”

In the released footage, the firing officer’s body camera is frequently blocked by a ballistic shield he’s carrying.

An officer can be heard saying on video: “He’s waking up, he’s waking up” after police responded to a call around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday about an unconscious person inside a vehicle near the intersection of New York and Florida avenues.

Gilmore wakes up after police shined a light on the driver side and tapped on the windows.

D.C. police said Gilmore had a gun in his waistband on his right side.

At one point in the video, the car lurches forward. After briefly stopping, the car moves forward again and an officer opens fire. Ten shots can be heard.

The car eventually hit a tree some distance away.

Firing into a moving vehicle is “inconsistent with our policies,” Contee said.

He confirmed the gun was still in Gilmore’s waistband when he was moved to an ambulance.

The police chief said the gun was purchased a couple of years ago in South Carolina and was not registered to Gilmore.

The car Gilmore was in was not registered to him either, according to police, and there was an open warrant for his arrest.

The incident has been sent to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office of D.C. It will then be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

Contee said that, to his knowledge, the officer who opened fire has not been involved in an incident like this before.

Editor’s note: The body camera footage below may be disturbing to some viewers. 

Ward 4 Council member Janeese Lewis George said Wednesday on Twitter that she was “Sitting here trying to figure out how law enforcement can successfully deescalate a white domestic terrorist in a truck threatening to blow up the Capitol with a bomb but not a Black man who fell asleep in his car?”

The ACLU tweeted that, “Incessant police violence – part of an all too familiar pattern in D.C. – has taken a life once again,” calling for a full, transparent investigation.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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