Wallet-wielding man shot by cops in Harlem said he had a gun: NYPD

Michael Cordero was shot by police in a Harlem building after he told officers he had a gun and pointed a black wallet at them, the NYPD said.  Photo Credit: NYPD

“Our cops had less than a second to make a decision,” the NYPD chief of department said. “In my opinion, they acted appropriately.”

Michael Cordero was shot by police in a Harlem building after he told officers he had a gun and pointed a black wallet at them, the NYPD said. 
Michael Cordero was shot by police in a Harlem building after he told officers he had a gun and pointed a black wallet at them, the NYPD said.  Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

NYPD officers shot a man who allegedly said he had a gun but actually took out a wallet during a confrontation in a Harlem building Tuesday night, police said.

The officers responded to the fourth floor of a residential building on 114th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass boulevards, at about 5:50 p.m. after a 911 call reporting a man with a gun, NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said Wednesday. After exiting the elevator on the fourth floor, they encountered a man matching a witness’ description walking toward them, police said.

The officers ordered the man, identified as Michael Cordero, 34, to stop and take his hands out of his pockets, Monahan said.

"He goes into his pocket, says he has a gun, pulls a black object up, [and] takes it in a two-handed stance, covering the top of it as if he were racking a slide," Monahan said. 

An officer fired three shots, with one striking Cordero in the hip, police said. The black object was a bi-fold wallet, according to Deputy Chief Kevin Maloney.

"Our cops had less than a second to make a decision," Monahan said. "They fired. In my opinion, they acted appropriately.”

Cordero was taken to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital and treated for his wound, according to the NYPD. No officers were injured during the six-second altercation, police said. 

Cordero, who allegedly had a knife on him during the confrontation, used to live in the building and his appearance there violated a court order of protection, Maloney said. He had several prior arrests, including one for erratic behavior, Maloney said. 

He was charged Wednesday with burglary, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, criminal contempt and unlawful possession of marijuana, police said.

Lauren Cook, Nicole Brown and Alison Fox