New York City police officers shot and killed a Black Man on a Brooklyn street corner on Wednesday at approximately 4:45 PM, after he pointed what they believed was a gun at them. The mentally unstable black man was shot multiple times and killed in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, N.Y. The man, identified by family members as Saheed Vassell, 34, was a Jamaica-born welder and the father of a teenage boy.
Four officers, three in plainclothes and one in uniform, fired 10 rounds among them, striking the man. The officers then called for an ambulance, New York Police Department Chief Terence A. Monahan said, and the man was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Officers later determined the object the man had pointed at them was “a pipe with some sort of knob on the end of it.”
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.
When the officers got to the street corner, Vassell turned to face them, aiming the object at them, Monahan said.
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.
The NYPD refused to say if the responding officers warned Vassell before firing.
Vassell was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he died.