Police fatally shot a man in the Bronx Wednesday after he pointed a fake gun at them while they visited his home for a wellness check, the NYPD said. It was the first police-involved shooting to be caught on body cameras, officials said.
Officers were called to the 31-year-old man’s apartment building on Pratt Avenue, near Conner Street in Edenwald, around 4:06 p.m. by his landlord, who told them he had not seen the man for a few days, police said.
When the landlord opened the third-floor apartment door with a key, the officers saw the man with a knife in his left hand and his right hand behind his back, police said. The officers ordered the man to drop the weapon, but he refused, Chief of Department Carlos Gomez said.
As the officers tried to get the man to drop the knife, another team of officers had arrived on the scene, including one officer with a Taser, Gomez said. As the officers spoke with the man, they realized he was holding what appeared to be a silver gun behind his back.
“The officers asked the male if the gun was real, ordered him to drop it, explaining and adding, ‘We don’t want to hurt you,’ ” Gomez said.
But when the man raised his right hand and pointed the gun at police, one officer fired a Taser and two other officers opened fire with their pistols, striking the man several times, per the NYPD. The weapon turned out to be a toy gun, according to an NYPD spokesman.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not immediately identified by police Wednesday evening. The fake gun and knife were recovered at the scene, police said.
The department will review the footage captured on the body cameras, Gomez said.
NYPD officers began wearing body cameras in April, as part of a pilot program that is expected to lead to all 22,000 city patrol cops wearing the devices by the 2020.
With Nicole Brown and Newsday