The NYPD Says Pipe Appeared To Be A Gun When Man Pointed It Towards Responding Officers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police fatally shot a man who pointed a pipe, which officials say appeared to be a firearm, towards them in Brooklyn Wednesday afternoon.

Sources say police were responding to several 911 calls reporting a man pointing a “silver firearm” at people around 4:40 pm when officers encountered 36-year-old Shaeed Vassell, who NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan says “took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers.”

 

Monahan says three plain clothed and one uniformed officer fired ten rounds and struck Vassell in the abdomen near the corner of Montgomery and Utica Avenues in Crown Heights.

He was rushed to NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators recovered what appeared to be a silver pipe at the scene, where numerous evidence markers were placed around what appeared to be bullet shell casings.

Witnesses claim police gave no warning before firing multiple shots.

“They didn’t say ‘freeze, hands up, drop your gun’, none of that,” Jaccpot Hinds said. “They didn’t say nothing. All they did was start shooting.”

Residents who know Vassell say he was well known in the neighborhood. Many say he had mental health issues.

“He’s mentally ill but don’t mess with anybody,” O’Neil Headley said.

They say they find it hard to believe Wednesday’s shooting was justified.

“It’s very sad because it’s a dude from around here and a lot of people love him and he don’t mess with anybody,” Headley said.

The NYPD has not released the name of the officers involved in the incident, which remains under investigation.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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