Times Square Shooting: NYPD Kills Man Who Allegedly Lunged At Them With Knife
New York City police shot and killed a man on Saturday afternoon after he reportedly lunged at them with a knife in a confrontation that started in Times Square and ended with shots fired near a Midtown Manhattan hotspot.
The encounter began when officers approached a 51-year-old man around 3p.m. who appeared to be smoking marijuana near the corners of West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue — the heart of Times Square, according to The Huffington Post.
When approached, the man became agitated, pulling out a large knife and put a bandanna on his head. He then refused orders from police to drop the knife, backing down the avenue and leading police on a slow-speed pursuit that lasted seven blocks. The police account shows that officers pepper sprayed the knife-wielding man six times, but he still refused to drop the weapon.
Upon reaching west 37th Street, the suspect lunged at police, causing two officers to shoot him in the torso. He was later pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital. The New York Times notes that several witnesses in the area either took photos of the pursuit or shot video of it, including Julian Miller, 22, who was visiting New York from Boston.
Miller stated that, after the police discovered he filmed the shooting, they confiscated his phone and forbade him from speaking to the media. He stated that a police detective pulled him aside after the shooting, asking to see his phone and the video he took. Miller added:
“His eyes got big when he saw the video. He went to go show his boss, and then they took my phone away.”
The clearest video of the shooting shows the suspect walking backward along Seventh Avenue, wielding a large knife. At one point, several officers are crowding around the man before shots ring out.
Questions about the Times Square shooting being justified were immediately raised on micro blogging site Twitter, when many users either praised the police for a job well done or condemned them for shooting to kill instead of shooting disable the suspect.