From [HERE] and [HERE] A Black man waving a metal object at passersby was fatally shot by police Wednesday when cops responding to 911 calls for a man with a gun said he “took a two-handed shooting stance” and pointed at them.
The man, identified by family members as Saheed Vassell, 34, was a Jamaica-born welder and the father of a teenage boy.
Police said they were responding to three 911 calls that came in around 4:40 p.m. about a black man wearing a brown jacket waving what people thought was a silver gun on the corner of Utica Ave. and Montgomery St., NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said at a press conference.
The police found a man who matched descriptions from the 911 callers, Chief Monahan said.
“The suspect then took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers,” Chief Monahan said.
When the officers got to the street corner, Vassell turned to face them, aiming the object at them, Monahan said.
“The suspect then took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers,” the chief said, holding up a surveillance photo of a blurry figure standing next to a bodega ice machine with his arms outstretched.
Four officers — one in uniform, three in plainclothes — fired 10 shots, striking Vassell multiple times at about 4:45 p.m., Monahan said.
Police can be heard on emergency radio saying they were on scene at about 4:42 p.m. and 27 seconds later, officers were calling for an ambulance. The NYPD did not give an explanation when asked about that timeline.
No firearm was found at the scene — and police said Vassell had been holding a metal pipe with a knob on the end.
Jaccbot Hinds, 40, who witnessed the shooting said officers jumped out of their unmarked police car and fired without warning.
“They just hopped out of the car. It’s almost like they did a hit. They didn’t say please. They didn’t say put your hands up, nothing,” Hinds said.
Another witness Jesus Santiago, said he was 5 feet from officers when they opened fire, and that the police never told Vassell to drop the object. He also questioned why so many shots were fired. [MORE]
"Why you shooting so many times? The first few shot was in the head. For me, he was dead right there,” Santiago said.
The NYPD refused to say if the responding officers warned Vassell before firing.
None of the officers wore body cameras, Monahan said. The media did not inquire as to whether any video footage existed from the City surveillance camera at the intersection where the incident occurred - see above and below photo.
The police released blurry still images from private surveillance videos — but did not release the video [b/c it is a secret] — showing a man with an outstretched arm and something in his hand. The police said the images showed him pointing an object that appeared to investigators to be a gun at people on the street and then pointing it in the officers’ direction after they arrived. They also released a picture of what the man turned out to have been holding: a slim, curved silver pipe with a cylindrical knob at the end of it.
Witnesses said the gunfire threw the afternoon into chaos.
“I heard all these shots, I thought it was firecrackers at first. I turned around and you just see the cops standing over the guy,” witness Chris J. said. “First it was one, then it was nonstop after that.”
The witness, who was sitting in a salon across the street, said a plainclothes officer handcuffed Vassell as he lay motionless on the sidewalk.
“Blood was everywhere,” Chris said. “They put him on his back and they tried to compress his chest but he was gone.”
An employee at the beauty salon, Angie, 52, said she heard the police fire and then saw the man drop. She said the police then fired several more shots before they ran over to the man and handcuffed him.
“We hear the first shot, the guy went down and then they started firing again,” said Angie, who declined to give her last name.
One bullet shattered a window at Chucky Fresh Market at 414 Utica Ave.
While Vassell was taken to the nearby Kings County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, the officers there when he was shot were assessed for minor injuries at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, a neighborhood and precinct away in Park Slope.
More than two dozen uninjured members of the NYPD — including commanding officers in white shirts, detectives in suits, plainclothes officers and uniformed ones along with at least one off-duty officer who'd come straight to the hospital — filled up its small triage room, talking with one another as they waited on their colleagues to receive treatment.
Asked what they were doing there by a Daily Beast reporter briefly placed in that room for an electrocardiogram on his way to the E.R., an officer said: “You’ll see it on the news at 11.”
A few minutes later, one of the white shirts assured a hospital official: "Don't worry. The press doesn't know we're here."