NYPD Says One Thing; Witnesses Say Something Else Following Wild Incident

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman was killed in Brooklyn on Thursday when a single round was accidentally discharged from the gun of a police officer responding to a car accident, police said.

The 23-year-old woman was driving “erratically” westbound on Church Avenue, running a series of red lights at East 40th Street, East 39th Street and East 38th Street in a stolen Toyota Camry before colliding with a minivan, Deputy NYPD Commissioner Paul Browne said in a statement.

Police said they pulled up along the crash scene in East Flatbush at around 5:40 p.m. and two officers approached the stolen vehicle.  They said they saw the woman move to the passenger side of the car and open the door.  The officer on the passenger side tried to get into the car, but was struck by the open door and thrown backward as the woman moved back to the driver’s seat, put the car in reverse and hit the gas, according to police.

At the same time, police said the other officer entered the driver’s side of the car with his gun in one hand and tried to shift the car into park with the other hand.  That is when a single round was discharged from the officer’s gun and struck the woman in the chest, police said.

The woman was taken to Kings County Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.  Authorities have yet to identify her, but say she was due in court Friday on a case involving  kidnapping, attempted murder and gun possession.  She also had nine prior arrests.

“I heard a pow and then it sounded like a gunshot and then I came back inside.  And a little bit afterwards, I went back outside and I saw the lady coming out of the car bloody,” witness Samantha Christian told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Sources told 1010 WINS that narcotics cops were involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, the deadly police shooting was the source of much angst in the community.

According to witnesses, officers got out of their car with guns drawn and told the woman to exit the vehicle. Those witnesses told 1010 WINS’ Eileen Lehpamer the woman was unable to do so because she was trapped by an airbag.

At that point, witnesses said, officers fired into the car and shot the woman as she was sitting in the driver’s seat. The police officers then pulled the woman out of the car as she lay dying in the street, according to witness accounts.

“Why’s it only happen in our neighborhoods that you go around with blatant disregard for people’s life?  What happened to shoot her in the leg? ‘Get out the car…ma’am what are you doing?’  Why are you shooting people and killing people?” another man said.

Police said the Toyota Camry was reported stolen in an armed carjacking on June 5.

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