NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There has been a deadly police-involved shooting during a violent melee inside a Brooklyn salon.
An NYPD officer is now in a medically-induced coma after being viciously attacked while attempting to carry out an arrest on another person.
The suspect who tried to break up the arrest — identified Saturday as Kwesi Ashun — struck the veteran cop in the head with a metal chair. That attacker is now dead after the fifth NYPD shooting in the last two weeks.
NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison said Friday night that officers from the 73rd Precinct were responding to a call for help from the salon on Mother Gaston Boulevard and Sutter Avenue after a man entered the business and began to urinate on the floor around 6 p.m.
That man has been identified as 26-year-old Dewayne Hawkes.
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After discovering Hawkes had an active warrant for previous incidents of criminal mischief, two officers tried to place him under arrest but Hawkes resisted.
That’s when Ashun barged in and attacked the officers, hitting a 21-year veteran policeman in the head after a Taser did not stop him. Authorities say that officer was still able to reach his weapon and shot at the attacker six times — killing him.
The veteran officer suffered severe head wounds during the incident and is in critical but stable condition. His partner — who has only been on the force for seven months — was treated for minor injuries.
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The gunfire created mayhem on a crowded street filled with families.
“When the shots rung out, it was sort of mayhem. It was weird because there were children all over the place,” said Assemblywoman Latrice Walker. “People were running and cops were flying down the street.”
Before the details of the deadly confrontation were revealed, a large angry crowd swarmed into the area along with the dead suspect’s family. CBS2’s Ali Bauman reports the 33-year-old Ashun was selling t-shirts outside the salon before interfering with the arrest.
Friends say Ashun had a previous run-in with officers and believe that prior arrest triggered him to attack an officer inside the Mother Gaston Boulevard salon on Friday
“He was set upon for no reason. There is never ever an acceptable reason to attack a New York City police officer!” PBA President Patrick Lynch said. “We go out to help your families, but our families pay for it when someone sets upon a New York City police officer… it has to stop.”
Mayor de Blasio says the city will investigate a claim that Ashun’s family had requested the city for help earlier this month regarding his mental health. CBS2 asked the Mayor about reports that the family was told by city officials that Ashun appeared non-violent and was not considered a threat.
“We need to know more about that for sure. We need to know more about that,” de Blasio said.
Friends say there is no justifying Ashun’s actions, but they wonder if the city can do more to help those who are allegedly suffering from mentally illness.
“Maybe they can show some kind of wristband or color band on their ankle so when the cops see these things on these guys they can think twice,” Sharif Walker proposed.
Chief Harrison added Friday that Hawkes is now in custody.
Hawkes has been charged with resisting arrest, obstruction and disorderly conduct.
Stay with CBS New York for the latest on this developing story