Pacific Press / Getty Images
Elizabeth Entenman
April 05, 2018 7:13 am

We’re devastated to report that on Wednesday, April 4th, an unarmed black man named Saheed Vassell was shot and killed by police officers in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood. Just before 5 p.m., officers received three 911 calls stating that a man was pointing a silver weapon at people. When they arrived to investigate, they saw Vassell, who matched the description from the callers.

“Three different 911 callers described a man with a gun, pointing it at people on the streets,” Chief of Department Terence A. Monahan said of the NYPD shooting during a news conference. “The suspect then took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching offers, two of whom were in uniform.”

Four police officers — who were not wearing body cameras — discharged their weapons. They fired 10 rounds and hit Vassell. The officers called an ambulance, but Vassell was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital. Around 7:30 p.m., officers learned that the silver object was not a gun. It was just a metal pipe. Vassell was shot just two blocks away from his home.

Saheed Vassell’s father, Eric Vassell, spoke with NY1 about his son. He shared that Saheed had bipolar disorder.

"He's polite, nice, he's kind. He just comes and he goes," Eric said of his son. "He doesn't have access to guns, because he's been sick for a long time."

The Crown Heights community is already supporting Vassell and demanding justice.

Many on the scene told NY1 that they’re tired of police brutality and that they plan on taking action.

"I'm planning on coping with my loss through my church, my children, and friends, because there are so many friends keep calling because he grew up here as a young kid."

Saheed Vassell leaves behind a 15-year-old son. Our hearts are with his family.

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