Newly released body camera footage shows the moment a New York man lunged at cops brandishing a kitchen knife before being gunned down in a hail of bullets.
The 21-year-old was no longer taking medication and was using marijuana extensively, according to a relative who called New York police to report a disturbance.
The young man had threatened a family member at the Roosevelt Landings apartment complex, located at 540 Main Street, on Roosevelt Island, around 11:30 p.m. on August 4.
Cameras were rolling on at least four of the arriving officers – Officers Virealla-Abreu, Birch, Mehr and Mazza – who have now been released by New York District Attorney Genera Letitia James as part of a routine investigation into the death of the man.
The nightmarish ordeal began when police entered the lobby, one group preparing to head toward the apartment while another remained to hold the door open in case of backup.
The 21-year-old suspect rushed towards a police officer brandishing a knife, while the latter faced him. The attacker was reportedly under the influence of marijuana and was no longer taking medication.
The young man then walked into a police officer as three other police officers were preparing to head towards his apartment. He was shot after a Taser proved ineffective and he continued to move toward the cops.
Three police officers entered an elevator, one of them carrying a shield. Three other people remained in the hallway, struggling to hold the door open along with a person in plain clothes who appeared to be a civilian.
Suddenly, the suspect – who was not named – emerged from another elevator and ran down the hallway towards a police officer who had his back to him, brandishing a knife.
The officers in the lobby fled behind the door and the man abruptly turned towards the elevator, gun in hand.
He was dressed in a white t-shirt emblazoned with the logo of Drake’s label, OVO, along with black sweatpants and bright green lace-up Nike Jordan sneakers.
Officer Abreu pulled out a Taser and pointed it at the man’s chest, but he didn’t flinch. Abreu then pushed and kicked the suspect as he got closer. On either side of the officer, Mehr and Mazza drew their weapons and opened fire.
The suspect fell backwards out of the elevator as a hail of bullets hit his chest.
Scattered on the ground, he raised his right arm, still gripping the knife, before it fell limply on his chest.
NYPD Crime Stoppers later released an image of the knife. There appears to be blood on it, although it’s not clear from whom.
Three officers were standing in the elevator, preparing to head to the unit where a domestic dispute had been reported, when the suspect rushed out of another elevator and attacked them.
The NYPD released an image of the weapon used in the attack, an otherwise unsuspecting kitchen knife
Police and first responders gathered on the street in front of the building. Paramedics took the man to hospital, where he died a few hours later.
The shocking attack took place at 540 Main Street, an apartment complex known as Roosevelt Landings.
The police provided first aid until an ambulance arrived. Paramedics took the young man to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:28 a.m. on August 5.
The NYPD held a press conference at 2:20 a.m., a few hours later.
Deputy Chief Christine Bastedenbeck, NYPD Patrol Borough Queens North commander, explained what happened to baffled residents and members of the media.
“Fortunately, none of the officers or civilians in the area were injured during this incident,” she said.
On September 8, body camera footage was released at the direction of New York Attorney General Letitia James.
A Press release accompanied the video, explaining that it was released as part of an investigation by the Office of Special Investigations (OSI).
Under New York State Executive Law Section 70-b, OSI is required to evaluate each incident in which a suspect is killed by police.
If an assessment indicates that a police officer caused the death, it triggers a full investigation into the officers’ conduct.
James demanded that the body camera footage be made public “in order to increase transparency and build public confidence in these matters.”