(PhatzNewsRoom / New York Daily News) —- NEW YORK — An New York Police Department officer shot a man to death on a Brooklyn street Wednesday afternoon, after they saw him with a metal object that looked like a shower head in his hand, police sources said.
Officers responded to a call about 4:30 p.m. that there was an emotionally disturbed black man believed to be in his mid-30s waving a gun at a local street corner, law enforcement sources said.
Witnesses told cops that he had “something in his jacket,” sources said.
The officer fired approximately five shots, striking the victim multiple times about 4:45 p.m. at the corner in Crown Heights, sources said.
“I heard all these shots, I thought it was firecrackers at first. I turned around and you just see the cops standing over the guy,” witness Chris J. said. “It was at least five shots. First it was one, then it was nonstop after that.”
The witness said a plainclothes officer handcuffed the victim lying motionless on the sidewalk.
“Blood was everywhere,” Chris said. “They put him on his back and they tried to compress his chest but he was gone.”
Chris said he saw no weapon at the scene.
There was at least two plainclothes cops tending to the victim.
Andre Wilson, 38, said he’s known the victim for 20 years, describing him as a quirky neighborhood character.
“All he did was just walk around the neighborhood,” he said. “He speaks to himself, usually he has an orange bible or a rosary in his hand. He never had a problem with anyone.”
Wilson said he was shocked that it would come to this.
“The officers from the neighborhood, they know him. He has no issue with violence. Everybody just knows he’s just mentally challenged. This shouldn’t have happened at all.”
One bullet shattered a window at Chucky Fresh Market.
“There were gunshots, and I just ducked,” said a clerk who declined to identify himself. “A minute later, cops were everywhere.”
After the shooting, an angry crowd formed at the edge of the police tape shouting at police and pointing out the officer they believed to be responsible.
“The whole community came outside,” he added. “People were going crazy. It was a nightmare out there.”
The victim is known in the neighborhood for being emotionally disturbed. “He’s a little touched in the head,” Chris said. “But he’s not crazy enough to go around hitting people.”
The shooting comes as the nation paused to reflect on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.