‘Hallucinating’ man in Queens shot by cops after he lunged at them with knife

Officers probe a shooting on 55 Avenue and 64 Street. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)
Officers probe a police shooting on 55th Avenue and 64th Street in Maspeth, Queens on Jan. 8, 2020.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Police officers shot a “hallucinating” 41-year-old man who suddenly lunged at them with a knife while they tried to talk him down inside a Queens home Friday night, police reported.

The man remains hospitalized at this hour in critical condition after suffering two gunshot wounds.

The incident happened at about 6:35 p.m. on Jan. 8, after officers from the 104th Precinct responded to a call for help at the residence located near the corner of 64th Street and 55th Avenue in Maspeth.

It was the second time that the 104th Precinct had responded to the location Friday, according to Chief of Department Terence Monahan. Earlier in the day, he had been hospitalized for suffering hallucinations, but had been released hours later into the custody of a family member.

Police were called back Friday night after the man had begun destroying part of the home, Monahan said, claiming that an intruder had been looking for him.

According to Monahan, the responding officers met with a family member and the disturbed man in the basement and engaged him in conversation for about 10 minutes. The officers attempted to convince the man to return to the hospital.

“He abruptly pulled out a large knife and yelled, ‘I’m not going back to the hospital,’” Monahan said. “Armed with the knife, the male then lunged towards an officer standing on the staircase.”

That led one of the officers to deploy a taser, and another cop on the scene “almost simultaneously” pulled out his service revolver and opened fire, the chief noted. 

The two officers involved were evaluated at a hospital and released.

Monahan said the disturbed man has a prior history of drug use, including crystal meth. The 104th Precinct had responded to a similar distress call involving the man at the home on Jan. 6.

During the Friday morning visit by 104th Precinct officers, the chief noted, the man told officers that he had been contemplating suicide.

The NYPD Force Investigation Unit, which examines police shootings, is handling the ongoing investigation.

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