A Memphis man who was a passenger in an SUV that was struck by a bullet fired by police at Rayshard Brooks said he ducked under the backseat to protect himself when he heard gunshots.
“My instincts just told me get down and don’t get back up until everything ceased,” Michael Perkins said at a new conference Thursday.
Perkins, 35, said he, his friend Melvin Evans, who was driving, and Evans’ girlfriend had been in the Wendy’s drive-thru for less than three minutes when he heard the police officers tussling with Brooks and saying “stop resisting, stop fighting.”
Perkins said at that point, he felt the situation would escalate to the officer killing Brooks.
He then saw Brooks running toward their vehicle, heard the Taser going off and then heard gunshots. Perkins said he remained under the seat until Evans pulled out of the parking lot. He recalled smelling gun smoke.
Shean Williams, the attorney representing Perkins and Evans, said his clients have provided witness statements to the Fulton County district attorney’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Williams said the bullet that hit Evans’ vehicle was one of three shots former officer Garrett Rolfe fired in the “crowded” Wendy’s parking lot. The other two struck Brooks in the back, killing him.
“As you can imagine this has been a very emotional, scary time for my clients,” Williams said. “They not only witnessed someone dying in front of them, less than 10 feet, they also themselves were almost seriously injured or killed. We could be here talking about three, four, five deaths.”
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