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61-Year-Old Felix Kumi, Shot By Undercover NYPD Officer In Mt. Vernon Dies

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A bystander who was shot during an undercover operation Friday involving the NYPD in Mount Vernon has died.

Police said Felix Kumi, of Bedford Avenue in Mount Vernon, was standing behind a suspect in an illegal gun investigation when he was struck twice in the torso by an undercover officer from the NYPD Firearms Investigation Unit on Beekman Avenue near the corner of Tecumseh avenue. He was pronounced dead at 12:55 a.m.

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Kumi, a father of two, drove a bus for the Mount Vernon school district for the past 10 years, said his daughter, Rachel Kumi, 25, as she sat with friends outside her building Saturday, three blocks from the shooting scene.

“We’re doing the best we can for the type of situation this is,” she said. “It’s a travesty that this happened.”

She said she learned her father had died from her mother.

“He was kind and loving and concerned; very generous,” she said. “If you ever needed anything, my father would never say no.”

Felix Kumi was a deeply spiritual man who “touched everyone he met,” heartbroken family members tell The Daily News.

The devout Jehovah’s Witness was walking to pick up his car from a repair shop when he was hit twice by police bullets on Beekman Ave. Friday afternoon.

“My father died a faithful man,” his heartbroken daughter Rachel Kumi, 25, told The Daily News, fighting back tears in front of her dad’s home. “It’s a travesty that this happened. He loved us and he touched everyone he met.”

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton released a statement expressing “profound sorrow and sympathy” to Kumi’s family.


A second suspect was arrested Saturday; one man was arrested Friday. Several blocks of the Mount Vernon community remain taped off Saturday morning as crime scene investigators continue to collect evidence.

Jeffrey Aristy, 28, of the Bronx, was arrested and charged Saturday with criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal sale of firearms. The second suspect, 37-year-old Alvin Jamar Smothers is in custody and hospitalized at Jacobi Hospital with gunshot wounds.

The shooting happened at about 4 p.m. Friday on Beekman Avenue as part of a long-term firearms operation. A cloudless Friday afternoon was suddenly interrupted by a hail of gunfire in Mount Vernon where neighbors say they heard more than a dozen shots ring out.

On Friday, an undercover officer was contacted by Aristy who told the officer that he had guns for sale, according to the New York City Police Department. They met in the Bronx, and police said Aristy got into the undercover officer’s car and told him to drive to Mount Vernon.

They parked at Beekman and Tecumseh Avenues, and Smothers got in and pointed a gun at the officer’s head while demanding money, police said. The officer handed him money and Smothers then tried to flee. The officer signaled for backup and chased the suspect, who pointed a gun toward the officer.

The officer fired at 37-year-old Smothers, hitting him three times in the torso. At that point, Kumi, who had been standing behind the suspect, was hit in the twice in the torso. Kumi was taken to Jacobi where he died early Saturday.

Smothers also was taken to Jacobi where he remained Saturday. The officer was uninjured. Aristy fled, but was in custody Saturday.

Police are now working with the Westchester District Attorney’s office and Mount Vernon police as they continue their investigation. It is unknown if the Attorney General’s office who are already in Mt. Vernon investigating the death of Raynette Turner (the first case since Gov. Cuomo signing of the Executive order) will be getting involved in the investigation as well.

AJ Woodson

AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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