The family of an Alabama man who died after being shot by police outside his home early Friday morning is asking for clarity as to what happened, his brother told CNN in a phone call on Monday.
Police shot Stephen Perkins, 39, outside his home in the northern Alabama city of Decatur early Friday morning after he allegedly “brandished a handgun” equipped with a light “towards an officer with the Decatur Police Department, causing the officer to fire at Perkins,” according to a statement sent to CNN from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
Perkins later died at a nearby hospital, according to a statement from the Decatur Police Department.
The incident unfolded around 1:30 a.m. Friday when Decatur officers were called to Perkins’ home by a local towing company that alleged he’d pulled out a handgun on the tow truck driver as the driver was attempting to repossess a car in Perkins’ driveway, according to an initial statement from the Decatur Police Department.
Officers returned to the scene with the tow truck driver, at which point Perkins “exited the residence armed with a handgun and began to threaten the tow truck driver,” police said.
“Officers on scene ordered the homeowner to drop his weapon, which he refused to do. It was at this time the homeowner turned the gun towards one of the Officers on scene. The Officer discharged his duty weapon, striking the subject,” the statement added.
Police said they rendered first aid after the shooting.
Perkins’ brother told CNN the family needs more answers because they really “don’t know what happened.”
“This has always been his biggest fear, being shot and killed by police. Just being a Black man in America, it was his fear,” Nicholas Perkins, his eldest brother, told CNN. “This is a very hard loss; he was such a likeable guy. He had no enemies.”
“He was a great guy, a family man. He was married with two kids, one of them is only 7,” his brother continued. “His favorite hobby was going to the gym. That’s all he did. Work, home and gym. He was always smiling, laughing and joking. He was levelheaded. Just an all-around cool demeanor. This doesn’t add up.”
In a statement, Perkins’ family disputed the claim that he owed money on his car, saying they have “found financial receipts proving” he was not at risk of “being in an active status of repossession” and that “monthly payments were processed through his financing company.”
“The Towing Company and City of Decatur Police Department wrongfully appeared at (his) home,” the family said.
The family told CNN they still have not received an autopsy report and were not allowed to see Perkins at the hospital.
The Morgan County Coroner’s Office told CNN, “A preliminary report found that he died from multiple gunshots wounds,” according to Jeffrey Chunn, the county coroner.
Chunn added there has not been a full autopsy report and did not elaborate on specifics.