Brooklyn, NY — Police officers who responded to reports of an African American man who was threatening people with a “gun” fatally shot the man. Later, they found out that he was actually holding a metal pipe that appeared to be a gun, police said.
Before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, three 911 callers reported that a “man was pointing a silver firearm at people on the street” in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, according to NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan.
Five police officers, three in plainclothes and two in uniform, responded and encountered the man as described by the callers.
“The suspect took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers, two of whom were in uniform, said Monahan.
Four of the officers fired 10 bullets in total, shooting the man, who they eventually discovered was just carrying a “pipe with some sort of knob at the end,” he continued.
The unidentified man was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The four police officers were treated for minor injuries as well.
Police cars and around 200 passersby flocked around the police line. Some were even shouting at the police.
Andre Wilson, who is 38 years old, said he knows the victim for 20 years as a quirky person. “All he did was just walk around the neighborhood. He speaks to himself, usually he has an orange Bible or a rosary in his hand. He never had a problem with anyone,” he said.
Moreover, on March 18, an unarmed black man identified as Stephon Clark was also shot by police. Police said they responded to reports of someone breaking car windows and shot him as they thought the cellphone he was holding was a gun. It has sparked protests for police reform.