An NYPD detective fatally shot an unarmed 24-year-old man in the East Village on Saturday. The shooting happened as the detective and his partner were trying to arrest Felix David, who was a suspect in a violent Thursday robbery. According to what Chief of Department James O’Neill told reporters, the man fled from the officers, Harold Carter and Vicente Matias, after they approached him in a halfway house at 538 East 6th Street. After they caught up to him, “a violent physical struggle ensued, during which the suspect grabbed one of the police officer’s walkie-talkies and struck the detective in the head.”
O’Neill said that the cops fought with David for around five minutes, and the New York Times reports that the other detective was also hit in the head. The confrontation ended when one of the officers fired a single shot into David’s torso. He was taken to Mount Sinai Beth Israel, where he died shortly after. Meanwhile, both of the officers were treated for head injuries. (One of the men also had a dislocated shoulder.) This is the second fatal incident involving the NYPD this week.
Update: David had a history of mental illness, including a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, according to the nonprofit who ran the East Village home where he was staying. Described as a man with few family ties, he also had several run-ins with the law prior to the incident, including arrests for assault and grand larceny, which landed him in Rikers.
Two separate investigations into the shooting were launched on Sunday, one by the NYPD and the other by Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance; neither has yielded a preliminary judgment about whether the shooting was justified.