A 78-year-old man in Brooklyn was killed in a police shooting near his apartment on Thursday afternoon, police reported.
Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said the man had pointed his gun at police officers while they were inside the apartment building, at 330 Lewis Ave., investigating a reported burglary.
“This is a tragic situation,” Maddrey said during a press conference later on April 13. “Our officers were put in a life-or-death situation investigating a crime in progress, and hopefully, as our investigative units as they start to unravel exactly what happened here, we’ll learn more about what exactly happened, and hopefully we’ll have some better answers.”
Police said the tragedy unfolded at about 1:10 p.m. on April 13, as 81st Precinct officers visited 330 Lewis Ave. to investigate reports of an alleged burglary which, Maddrey said, was apparently called in by the 78-year-old man’s nephew.
“The caller stated that his elderly uncle was inside and believed someone was breaking into the home,” the chief noted.
The officers entered the building and climbed up the stairs to the second floor, going door-by-door to check for signs of foul play. But the 78-year-old man, when he opened his door partially to officers after they knocked, was found to have a gun in his left hand, Maddrey noted.
What happened next was then captured by yet-to-be-released bodycam footage which Maddrey described during the press conference.
“Our officers observed the firearm, they started yelling ‘No!’, they started retreating,” the chief said. “The male raises the firearm up and actually steps out of the apartment, with the firearm pointed at the officers. The two officers both discharged their weapons. The male was hit numerous times in the body.”
Both officers fell to the floor as they fired, Maddrey noted. Upon getting up, he explained, they rushed over to the injured man and began performing CPR and other emergency aid.
But their efforts were in vain, as the man died a short time later at a nearby hospital. Police have yet to reveal his identity, pending family notification.
A law enforcement source said the firearm was recovered at the scene.
One person at a nearby shop spoke about being trapped inside the business while the incident unfolded.
“We were trapped inside the store,” the resident said. “We heard a bang and saw a commotion. I looked out the window and paramedics were rushing with the stretcher, he wasn’t moving.”
The two officers involved in the shooting suffered minor injuries, including tinnitus, and were also treated at a local hospital, Maddrey noted.
The NYPD Force Investigation Division, which is assigned to police shootings, is now handling the case along with the NYPD Crime Scene Unit. More details about the shooting are expected to be released as the investigation further unfolds.