An apparently emotionally disturbed knife-wielding man — who had already slashed two women — repeatedly told cops “shoot me” in the tense seconds before the officers opened fire and killed him in the Bronx, according to video from a police body camera released by the NYPD Wednesday.
The killing of Cornell Lockhart, 67, inside a homeless shelter on Nov. 13, was the second such video disclosure this week involving an officer-involved shooting in the city and the third since the NYPD began equipping cops with body cameras in April.
In videos from body cameras worn by Officers Shawn Loftus and Nicole Krauss, the two 48th Precinct cops are seen entering the shelter at 1974 Hughes Avenue in the Bronx in response to a 911 call about an assault in progress with a knife. Loftus is an 11-year veteran and Krauss has been on the job for about a year, police said.
The shooting is currently under investigation by the NYPD and the Bronx District Attorneys Office, police said. Videos from inside the building obtained by the NYPD were not released.
Both body camera videos — one lasting 46 seconds and the other 43 seconds — show Loftus and Krauss holding their guns in front of them at arms length as they confront Lockhart, a shelter resident. Police said Lockhart had earlier used a 4-inch kitchen knife to stab one shelter worker in the left arm and another in the chest and arm.
Loftus is heard on the videos yelling at Lockhart 11 times to “drop the knife” while Krauss shouts the same command three times.
An unidentified man is shown standing close to Lockhart, who held the knife in his right hand. Eventually the man heeds the officers’ request to back away from Lockhart.
At least three times Lockhart is heard on the videos saying “shoot me” to the officers. A pool of blood from one of the injured woman is seen on the floor to his left.
Lockhart made about a three-quarter step with his left leg toward the officers before they fired a total of nine shots, striking him six times. The video shows Lockhart on the floor before the recording ends.
The videos show one of the inherent problems of the body cameras worn on the chest. For at least part of the confrontation caught by the body cameras, the officers’ outstretched arms obscured Lockhart’s image.