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GERMANTOWN, TN -
(WMC) - A young war veteran was shot and killed by Germantown police officers Tuesday night just before 10 p.m.
Justin Neil Davis' best friend, who asked to be called Val, told WMC Action News 5 that Davis went to Cameron Brown Park in Germantown off Farmington Boulevard, because it is where he had happy memories of his childhood.
Davis was reportedly sitting in his car with a rifle and thoughts of suicide when Germantown police shot and killed him. Wednesday night, family and friends say they still have questions.
According to police, a "be on the lookout" or BOLO alert was issued for Davis, 24, who was reportedly unstable, armed and dangerous, and possibly suicidal.
Fayette County Sheriff's Office received a tip on a crisis hotline about Davis. Fayette County deputies went to his house, but he was not there. That's when Germantown police found Davis in a parked car at Cameron Brown Park armed with a rifle.
"I tried to get him to come out to my parents house ... just to meet him somewhere just to talk him out of it," Val said.
Val says while he texted Davis, law enforcement officers were tracking the Iraqi veteran on his cell phone, but that he was not allowed to talk with his friend.
Officers evacuated the immediate area around the park and established communication with him using the squad car's PA system.
According to police, the situation escalated, and three Germantown police officers ended up firing their guns at Davis. He was pronounced dead at the park.
Investigators used orange paint to mark where Davis' car and six police cars sat during the confrontation. The closest police car appears to have been about 20 yards away.
"Why did three cops have to unload their weapon on a single man?" Val said.
Davis' friends and family say he was a war veteran who had trouble getting a job when he got home. They say he did not deserve to die this way.
"It's just sad that people have to feel like they can't help themselves and things go bad that way, you know?" Germantown resident Kelsey Beckum said.
The three GPD officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. The district attorney's office asked Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to lead the case; the TBI would eventually turn it back over to the DA's office.
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