News

As West Indian Parade Killer Sentenced, Shooting Victim’s Family Announces Lawsuit Against City

Denise Gay Was Killed By Police's Stray Bullet
Police block off the crime scene at the 2011 West Indian Day Parade. (credit: CBS 2)

Police block off the crime scene at the 2011 West Indian Day Parade. (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two people were shot dead at the 2011 West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn. As a man was sentenced Thursday for one of the killings, a family announced it is seeking justice in the other victim’s death.

As WCBS 880′s Irene Cornell reported, Leroy Webster was sentenced in Brooklyn Supreme Court to 40 years in prison for gunning down Eusi Johnson and then shooting at responding police officers. Cops answered by firing 73 bullets, one of which struck and killed an innocent bystander, Denise Gay, 56, who was sitting on her Crown Heights front stoop trying to avoid the raucous Labor Day parade.

Gay’s relatives have filed a civil wrongful-death lawsuit against the city and the NYPD, their attorney, Stanford Rubenstein announced outside court.

“Seventy-three shots? Was that necessary, or was it reckless?” Rubenstein said. “And the issue becomes, does the public suffer? In this case, a terrible, wrongful death when police act recklessly in firing 73 times under these circumstances.”

Added Lesie Gay, the victim’s brother: “The police are there to serve and to protect. I have no problem with that. But there’s got to be a way of coming into a community, guns in hand, and not just firing like the wild, wild west. Innocent people will get killed.”

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories