NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police have identified the man they shot and killed Saturday afternoon in Times Square. Police said 51-year-old Darrius Kennedy of Hempstead, Long Island charged officers with a kitchen knife.
Police said the 30-year-old was smoking marijuana outside the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Times Square when they approached him and asked for identification.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports
Instead of showing ID, police said Kennedy pulled out the knife.
“I turned the corner and all I seen was a whole crowd of cops chasing this one guy and he was swinging a knife around,” one witness told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.
WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports
Witnesses told the New York Post Kennedy kept taunting officers, saying “shoot me, shoot me.”
Several onlookers took video as the tense situation unfolded and posted the videos to YouTube.
WARNING: Graphic Language
Police spokesman Paul Browne said Kennedy repeatedly threatened officers with the kitchen knife. Browne said officers pepper sprayed the man six times to try to stop him. When that failed, police said two of the responding officers shot Kennedy in the torso just after 3 p.m.
“At first I thought it was a movie and then I start seeing that it was a little bit too much. I start getting afraid and I got on the floor and started praying,” another witness told D’Auria.
Kennedy had ten prior arrests, the most recent one for marijuana possession.
Two officers were taken to the hospital and treated for tinnitus and a third was treated for eye irritation as a result of being exposed to pepper spray.
The man was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Members of Kennedy’s family told 1010 WINS that they are upset about the use of deadly force.
1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports
“It doesn’t take twelve bullets to kill one person,” Kennedy’s aunt Margaret Johnson said.
Police Commissioner Kelly called the shooting unfortunate but justified, given the circumstances.
Were you in Times Square yesterday when the shooting took place? Please share your thoughts below…