Mayor Eric Adams praised the police officers who shot and killed two men in a pair of separate shootouts in Brooklyn and Queens Saturday night, saying on Sunday that the cops did the right thing to protect New Yorkers.
Within a span of less than two hours and in the two boroughs on July 9, NYPD officers shot the men who allegedly opened fire on New York’s Finest first, according to law enforcement.
“The way those officers responded yesterday tactically, they did an amazing job saving the public, saving the lives of people, and terminating that threat,” said Adams regarding the first case in Queens, at an unrelated press conference in the Bronx on July 10.
A St. Albans man twice called 911 around 6 p.m. Saturday making threats against police and top New York officials like Governor Kathy Hochul, saying he was going to “blow the head off of the first police officer he saw,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey told reporters Saturday night.
When cops arrived at the scene on 116th Avenue, the man refused cops’s commands and fired at them, prompting at least six officers to unload more than 100 shots, according to police.
They struck the man with bullets several times in the abdomen and he died later at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
The Queens resident had prior contact with police, according to Maddrey, including a call for a “mental health issue,” the senior cop said without going into more detail.
Asked if mental health professionals should have been involved in the response, Mayor Adams said that it would have been too dangerous due to the threats of violence from the caller.
“When you listen to those tapes, those 911 tapes, it would be irresponsible if we would have sent civilians to respond to that,” hizzoner said. “This guy was a bad guy and when you listen to those tapes it’s clear he had one role he wanted to accomplish and they terminated that role.”
The second incident began at 7:41 p.m. with a traffic stop near Nevins Street and Flatbush Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn.
Those cops were part of Mayor Adams’s relaunched street crime units, now named Neighborhood Safety Teams, and they were in an unmarked car at the time.
They stopped a vehicle because its driver broke “multiple” traffic laws (an NYPD press officer did not specify which laws) and asked a 19-year-old man to get out the car, but he fled on foot and officers chased him for several blocks.
During the chase, the teen turned around and shot at them, according to the police report.
The officers shot back and hit him in the chest. He later died of his injuries at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in Park Slope.
“That officer did an amazing job, that whole team did an amazing job,” said Adams. “He ran towards the gun violence. not too many people who are standing here and sitting here right now would run towards the gun violence,” the mayor said. “That officer did and because of his actions people in that area went home and his entire team went home. He’s a real hero and I thank him for the job that he did.”
Police did not suffer gunshot wounds in either case, and the authorities have yet to publish the two men’s identities.
Adams said he wanted NYPD to release body cam footage, which he has seen, from the incidents. But their publication would have to go through the proper procedures, he added.
“I think if the public starts to see the footage, you would be shocked what these ladies and gentlemen are doing every day,” the mayor said. “Whatever the procedure is, we’re gonna follow the legal procedure to do so, but I believe we should show these tapes.”