Police fatally shot Saheed Vassell, a 34-year-old black man, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn Wednesday afternoon.
Sources say police were responding to reports of a man with a gun around 4:45 pm when responding officers encountered the suspect, who sources say was holding a metal object near the corner of Montgomery and Utica Avenues in Crown Heights.
Officers opened fire and struck the man at least once in the abdomen. He was rushed to NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County where he was pronounced dead.
It was later reported that Vassell was actually holding a “pipe”, rather than a gun. Angry crowds gathered at the scene shortly after the incident and denounced the police, calling them “murderers.”
via NBC New York
A witness at the scene said that three officers in an SUV pulled up to the scene about the time of the shooting and blocked off traffic. He said an officer that got out of a passengers side door and fired nine times.
“It’s almost like they did a hit,” the witness said. “They didn’t say ‘freeze,’ they didn’t say ‘put your hands up,’ they didn’t say ‘stop for a minute.’ They just started shooting.
In a press conference, NYPD Officials confirmed that a total of 10 rounds were fired at Vassell and he was holding a metal pipe. They said they received multiple calls about the man claiming that he was holding “an object that appears to be a gun.”
Who Is Saheed Vassell?
Saheed Vassell is a 34-year-old black man, who was fatally shot by police Wednesday afternoon. Officers mistook a “pipe” he was brandishing for a gun.
via NY Daily News
Andre Wilson, 38, said he’s known the victim for 20 years, describing him as a quirky neighborhood character.
“All he did was just walk around the neighborhood,” he said. “He speaks to himself, usually he has an orange bible or a rosary in his hand. He never had a problem with anyone.”
Saheed Vassell Updates
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) April 5, 2018
— Stephen Stallard (@scstallard) April 5, 2018
This is the object the man who was shot by police in Crown Heights was holding. Police say they got several calls of a man holding a gun, and that this object resembled a silver firearm that the man pointed at the cops. The latest at: https://t.co/ZuE2nDyPYw pic.twitter.com/GoH0K1Ft6R
— Hannah Kliger (@HannahKliger) April 5, 2018
#breakingnews press conference just now we learned more about Crown Heights shooting: 3 officers from anti-crime and 1 officer from SRG fired a combined 10 shots striking the suspect. The suspect had a metal pipe with some kind of knob. See next. pic.twitter.com/yugDQ0OWXh
— Citywide 911 News (@Citywide911) April 4, 2018