Suspect posted on Facebook Live before he died in SWAT standoff

ATLANTA — Atlanta police said a gunman died after a standoff at an Atlanta home that lasted more than six hours.

Police told Channel 2's Audrey Washington a man called 911 about 2 a.m. Thursday and said he heard gunshots in the area of North and Woodlawn avenues in northwest Atlanta.

When Atlanta police officers arrived and approached the house, police said the man, later identified as Dashaun Shepard, started shooting at them. No officers were shot, but one suffered a minor head injury when he ducked for cover.

Officers called for backup and SWAT was sent to the scene, police said.

Shepard refused to speak with negotiators, according to police.

As of 7 a.m., police told Washington they had still not been able to make contact with him.

Police told Washington just after 8:15 a.m. Shepard was "down" but did not release a condition. They later confirmed he died.

During the standoff, police asked people in the area to remain in their homes while they tried to make contact with Shepard.

At one point during the standoff, Shepard recorded a Facebook Live.

"Understand this, this is not a game. Share my message. I aim to fight for my people. I’m not playing. I’m about to shoot it out with these cops to fight for my rights, for my people,” he said in the video. “We're going to war, cause that's what I am, a warrior for the people."

Shepard's sister, who lives in North Carolina, told Channel 2's Tom Regan she tried to talk her brother out of it on that Facebook Live.

"I was trying to get my way up here," Asa Shepard said.

She says she told police her brother had bouts of mental illness and that he was having a meltdown.

Police say they tried to get the family to help with negotiations, but when Dashaun Shepard exited his home and confronted officers while refusing to surrender, officers opened fire.

Shepard's siblings said police should have shown more patience.

"You all had the power to save him," Asa Shepard said.

The family says it wants to see body camera video of the standoff and the shooting. The GBI is investigating.


Neighbor Rafiq Salaam told Channel 2's Tom Regan he was up all night from the sound of gunfire rattling the neighborhood.

“They kept shooting at each other, back and forth,” Salaam said.

Benita Jones lives next store to the man. She said he was a good neighbor and that he had served in the military and was distraught over a breakup with a longtime girlfriend.

“His girlfriend recently left him and he took it very devastatingly,” Jones said.

Police said gas was also used and put into the house to try to get the suspect to come outside, to peacefully resolve the situation.