LATEST PAPER
78° Good Afternoon
78° Good Afternoon
News

NYPD releases additional video of fatal Crown Heights shooting

Police had responded after receiving reports that Vassell was menacing people with a handgun. It later turned out to be a welding instrument.

The NYPD on Tuesday released footage of police converging on Saheed Vassell, who was fatally shot by officers on April 4. Vassell is not clearly shown in the video, taken by a camera on a building near where the shooting occurred. (Credit: NYPD)

In an effort at transparency in the wake of last week’s fatal police shooting of a mentally troubled man, the NYPD on Tuesday released another video of cops converging on him in Crown Heights.

The latest video, taken by a camera on a building about a half a block from the intersection where the shooting occurred, was silent. It did not appear to show Saheed Vassell, 34, clearly or what he was doing at the time of the shooting. 

Police had responded after receiving reports that Vassell was menacing people with a handgun. It later turned out to be a welding instrument.

Phillip Walzak, a spokesman for the NYPD, said in a statement the department was committed to transparency, as demonstrated by “prior releases of body worn camera footage of officer-involved-shootings when it is available.”

None of the police officers involved in the shooting were wearing body cameras.

Some have criticized the NYPD for previously only releasing video showing Vassell running through the street with the welding implement that bystanders had believed was a gun. 

The newest video release was the “only footage in NYPD possession at this time that captures the shooting on video,” Walzak said.

The 4-minute, 49-second recording shows an unmarked police vehicle and two marked cars entering the intersection of Union Avenue and Montgomery Street in response to 911 calls about a man with a gun. The cars form a semicircle in the middle of the street and then about four seconds later, pedestrians appear to flinch and take cover.

Police have said the shooting occurred within “seconds” and that cops yelled “drop it” to Vassell, who was struck seven to nine times. The four-second duration between the time the last police car entered the intersection and the apparent time of the shooting seems consistent with that account.

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is investigating the shooting and, according to Walzak “has thus far not objected to the release of video in the Vassell case.”

“The incident remains under investigation, and any and all materials discovered in the course of this investigation are being delivered to the Attorney General,” said Walzak.

News photos & videos