Mentally ill man and Brooklyn resident Saheed Vassell, 34, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by officers Wednesday afternoon, according to the New York Police Department.
NYPD reported that three separate 9-1-1 calls were made stating that there was a black man on a Crown Heights street pointing a “silver firearm” at people, although it was later identified as a silver pipe with a knob on the end.
Chief Terrence Mohana said in a report done with Buzzfeed that when police officers encountered Vassell, “the suspect took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers.” Four out of the five officers on the scene then began to shoot at Vassell, firing 10 rounds and striking the man.
Vassell was then taken to a local hospital where he later died.
Eric Vassell, the victim’s father, stated that his son had bipolar disorder which was known to neighbors as well as local police, and that Saheed had been admitted to several hospitals throughout the last few years.
Following Vassell’s death, the New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opened an investigation. Shneiderman’s spokesperson told Buzzfeed, “We’re committed to conducting an independent, comprehensive, and fair investigation.”
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