Police officers in New York City fatally shot an unarmed black man who was pointing what appeared to be a gun at them on Wednesday, police said. What they thought was a gun, turned out to be a metal pipe with a knob on the end. The man reportedly suffered from mental illness including bipolar disorder (which is irrelevant).
Officers responded to 3 911 calls describing a man wielding “a silver firearm”. Four of the five police officers who responded to the scene fired on the man after he took a “two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers,” NYPD chief Terence Monahan said.
Three of the four officers who fired at Vassell were not in uniform, Monahan said. He told reporters they fired a total of 10 rounds at Vassell. None of them were wearing body cameras.
The man, identified by The New York Times as 34-year-old Saheed Vassell, was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital.