NEW YORK (AP) — Police officers responding to a call shot and killed a Manhattan man wielding a knife after he pulled prongs from a Taser out of his body.Authorities arrived at 121-123 Vermilyea Ave. in the Inwood section of upper Manhattan around 5:15 a.m. Sunday after getting a 911 call about a threat being made against an officer.
Police said the four responding officers saw the man with a knife, identified themselves and told him to drop it.
When he didn’t, one of the officers used his Taser, but the man pulled the electrical prongs from his body and continued to charge at the police officers, police said.
The officers fired, hitting the man several times. The victim, identified as Emmanuel Paulino, 24, was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Nine witnesses told investigators that before police fired they saw a man armed with a knife continue to charge at police officers despite repeated commands to stop and drop the knife, police said.
Police released an audio transcript of a 911 call that they say Paulino made before the shooting.
When the 911 operator answered, a man responded, “Yeah, I want you to call the cops cause I’m ready to kill.”
“OK, so what’s going on there?” the operator said.
“Yeah, I’m ready to kill cops right now,” the man repeated.
The shooting incensed some in the neighborhood, who described Paulino as having emotional problems.
Neighbor Elizabeth Rodriguez told the Daily News that the man “was a good kid. He just had problems with cops.”
Fernando Mateo, the president of Hispanics Across America, held a vigil Sunday night in front of Paulino’s home.
“We believe that with all the technology and all the training the finest police department in the world has, it could have been prevented, it could have been handled differently,” Mateo said.
In 2008, an emotionally disturbed Brooklyn man plummeted headfirst to his death from a building ledge when police stunned him with a Taser. The police commander who ordered an officer to fire the stun gun later committed suicide after apologizing to the victim’s family.
After the man’s death, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly ordered refresher training for the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit on how to deal with the mentally ill.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)