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Chaos Erupts Following Police Shooting Of Father Of 2 In Newburgh

Michael Lembhard Allegedly Lunged At Cops With Knife Before Taking 9 Bullets
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Michael Lembhard

Michael Lembhard was shot and killed by Newburgh Police officers on March 7, 2012, following a domestic violence dispute. (Photo: handout)

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NEWBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A deadly police shooting has rocked an Orange County community.

A 22-year-old man was gunned down by police in his family’s home after he allegedly lunged at officers with a knife.

It happened on Wednesday in the city of Newburgh, 60 miles north of Manhattan, and now the city has voted to ask Gov. Andrew Cuomo to appoint a special investigator to look into Michael Lembhard’s death.

Order broke down almost immediately at a meeting Friday to discuss the investigation of the police shooting. Angry relatives and friends of Lembhard were among those earlier demanding outside investigators.

“They got what they asked for,” one person said.

Lembhard, a troubled father of two, was wanted for failure to report to court on a domestic violence charge when he was killed.

“Come on! Domestic violence causing this? No, no. I say no,” said Mary Hall, Lembhard’s sister.

Lembhard ended up dead in his sister’s living room after officers said he lunged at them with a knife.

“Why couldn’t you Taser him? Why couldn’t you crack him on the head with a billy club, not just fill his body with bullets?” added George Coolidge, the deceased’s uncle.

He was hit nine times and crime scene technicians removed bullets from the walls, floor and furniture. The dead man’s father sobbed openly.

Newburgh is a sad city with pockets of grinding poverty, an unusually high crime rate, a history of mistrust of the police, and a new mayor determined to change it all.

“I would liken this situation that has happened up here in the last day and a half as a festering wound that had the scab ripped off. The people here have to know that we are looking at all angles of this,” Mayor Judy Kennedy said.

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