NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An investigation is underway into the police shooting death of an emotionally disturbed man in Brooklyn who officers say came at them with a knife.
Long-time neighbors of 32-year-old Dwayne Jeune are struggling trying to make sense of his death. While police say it was a situation where officers had to quickly act, some are questioning the use of deadly force.
“I’m hoping that maybe the police can learn from this and maybe next time they confront somebody with a mental illness this won’t be the result,” one man named Richard said.
“He either singing or in front of the mirror dancing,” a neighbor named Donna said. “I have never ever seen him in a violent act with nobody.”
“I’m lost because he never came across as a violent person so I don’t even understand how it got to that point,” another neighbor said.
There was no answer at the Jeune family’s apartment in the Flatbush Gardens apartment complex in East Flatbush Tuesday morning, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported. Police spent the overnight hours collecting evidence from the unit where Jeune was shot and killed.
Police are still investigating the details of the case, but say it was around 12:30 p.m. Monday when Jeuene’s mother called 911 reporting that her son was behaving erratically.
“The 911 call was for a non-violent emotionally disturbed person and stated that he had no weapons,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan said.
Investigators say four officers responded to the call and Jeune’s mother let them into the apartment where, within seconds, police say Jeune was charging at them with a 14-inch knife.
At first, detectives say the officers tried to stop Jeune with a Taser, hitting him twice.
“The suspect was able to fight through it and keep moving forward,” Monahan said.
That’s when they say one of the officers fired multiple shots, striking Jeune in the chest.
One of the bullets traveled right through a wall and into the apartment of 14-year-old Lasaunti Newell, who was sleeping inside.
“It flew threw into the dining room right to the table,” she said.
Jeune died on the way to the hospital. Late Monday, neighbors and family gathered at a neighborhood church to console his distraught parents.
“They witnessed the death of their son and they’re heavily traumatized,” Pastor Verole Matthew said.
Sources tell CBS2 police were called to the family’s apartment by Jeune’s mom three years ago when she reported that he was off of his medication.
Following protocol, the officer who fired the shots will be placed on desk duty while the police force investigation unit completes its investigation.
The same officer previously shot another mentally disturbed person, which the department considered to have been justified, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.