With police still on the scene in Sheepshead Bay of the deadly shooting involving one of their own, authorities released a picture of the fake gun used by the suspect, a toy that helped bring the man’s life to an end. On the streets, there was no second guessing on the police decision to fire a weapon.
“Since he didn’t put down the gun they didn’t know what else to do,” said witness Louis Benz of Sheepshead Bay.”
“They probably didn’t know it was fake so what else, they probably did what they had to do,” added Serg Sarukhanyas.
The deadly chain of events ended Monday afternoon just outside P.S. 194. It began, a police source said, in a public housing complex where the suspect was waving his imitation around. After a 911 call, an officer approached the man, who then ran.
A police source told CBS 2 HD the chase went all the way down a sidewalk with the officer yelling to the suspect, “drop your weapon, drop your weapon.” CBS 2 HD was told the chase only ended when the suspect spun around with his object in view.
Students getting out of school then learned first hand what the police use of force can lead to.
“All I hear is the first gunshot. I look over, and right next to the school I see the police officer shooting,” witness Rahman Amer said.
“I come running out and I see the cops over there and there was a body in the middle of the street,” witness Maureen Quinn added.
With gunshot wounds to his neck and chest, the 22-year old died at the hospital.
John Jay College criminologist Maria Haberfeld said the suspect shouldn’t have expected anything else from police.
“The police officers have no obligation to find out whether the gun is real or a toy,” Haberfeld said. “You’re talking about seconds, proverbial nanosecond decisions that you have to make. There isn’t really any time to try to figure out maybe it’s not real because it’s your life on the line or somebody else’s for that matter.”
Neither the suspect nor the officer involved have been identified. Police did not say whether the officer would be back on duty on Tuesday. Typically when an officer is involved in a deadly shooting he or she is taken off the street until that shooting has been fully investigated.