A 28-year-old unarmed man was shot dead Thursday night by an NYPD officer in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project.
According to the New York Daily News, Akai Gurley had spent the evening with his girlfriend in her apartment in east New York. Leaving the building complex, he entered the stairwell and was shot immediately by an officer, who has not yet been named in reports.
In a press release cited by the Daily News, the NYPD stated that two officers were patrolling the apartment block and that one shot was fired by an officer, but no reasons have been given. Officer Peter Liang, a rookie cop, reportedly told colleagues, "I shot him accidentally." In a statement Friday, Police Commissioner William Bratton also said that the fatal shot was accidental. He said that Gurley appeared to be a "total innocent." During a separate news conference Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio called the shooting a "tragic mistake."
"He didn't do nothing wrong," said Melissa Butler, Gurley's girlfriend. "He was just standing there and they shot him. He was an innocent man."
Gurley was taken to hospital when died from the gunshot wound Thursday night.
Stay connected to the state of policing in America with VICE News' Officer Involved blog.
Image via Wikimedia