DC police release body camera video from fatal shooting of man thought to be carrying long gun

D.C. police have released the body camera video of the fatal shooting that followed after officers were called to investigate a report of a man thought to be carrying a long gun.

The shooting happened Aug. 31 inside an apartment building on 14th and V streets Northwest just before 7 p.m.

The video shows officers talking to George Watson twice — he then closed the door and went back inside the apartment.

On the third time he emerged, he had in his hand what appears to be a long gun. Police said they recovered a nonlethal pellet gun from the scene.

Seconds later, an officer fired his gun several times at the door of Watson’s apartment. The officer has been identified as Sgt. Jonathan Nelson, according to a letter from D.C. Deputy Mayor Chris Geldart that was sent to Council member Charles Allen.

“This weapon looks very real,” D.C. police Chief Robert Contee said during a news conference following the shooting.

Sources who looked at the police evidence photo of the weapon told WTOP that the air-soft rifle was made to look like a real long gun but seemed most likely not to cause life-threatening injuries.

Watson died at the hospital. An officer was shot in the hand, apparently by another officer.

D.C. police confirmed that internal affairs has launched an investigation into the incident.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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