Police shot and killed a 34-year-old man, Saheed Vassell, on April 4 in Brooklyn because he was holding a shower nozzle.
Vassell’s family said that he was mentally ill, and has a 15-year-old son, reports KPIX.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said there were three calls to 911 that claimed a man was holding a silver firearm at people.
Monahan claimed that Vassell “took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers.”
After four cops fired at Vassell 10 times, they took time to investigate and realized that Vassell was holding a pipe with a knob on the end.
One witness, Jesus Santiago, told KPIX that police never commanded Vassell to drop the object:
Why you shooting so many times? The first few shot was in the head. For me, he was dead right there.
Vassell’s aunt Nora Ford said police did not warn Vassell before executing him:
They have witnesses around here that say they did not tell him to drop anything. They said the police guy just pull around, and started shooting at him, and I’m very, very upset.
The New York State Office of the Attorney General has opened an investigation into Vassell’s death.