A young man was fatally shot last night in a hail of 20 bullets fired by five police officers who responded to his mother’s 911 call for help in a domestic dispute in Brooklyn, the authorities said.
The police said they believed that the man, Khiel Coppin, 18, had a gun. But when the gunfire stopped, it turned out that he had been holding a hairbrush.
Officers went into the building at 590 Gates Avenue, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, about 7 p.m. The police said they were responding to a 911 call from the mother reporting domestic abuse and asking for help to “deal with this,” and that on the call a man was overheard threatening to kill her and claiming “I have a gun.”
Two bystanders who said they saw the shooting said that Mr. Coppin was not armed, but was carrying a hairbrush when he climbed out the window and that he dropped it when the firing began. The two witnesses also said they both heard one officer yelling for the shooting to stop.
According to the police, another witness described Mr. Coppin as concealing the hairbrush under his shirt, pointing it outward.
I can't believe that quote made it into the article. Could you try any harder to give the police a pass? He had dropped the hairbrush by the time the shooting started, so why would it matter if he was "concealing it"? And what exactly does that mean, anyway?
Gotta remember to leave my wallet and hairbrush at home when I go out.
Mr. Sanchez said that just before the shooting, he went outside and saw several officers there with guns drawn. Mr. Coppin approached the window, backed away, then returned and stood on the sill, Mr. Sanchez said. When an officer told him to get down, he jumped to the ground and started to go through a gate in the fence in front of the building, Mr. Sanchez said.
An officer told Mr. Coppin to put up his hands, and when he did he dropped the hairbrush and the shooting began, although one officer called out to stop the gunfire, Mr. Sanchez said.
Officers started chasing Mr. Sanchez and knocked him to the ground after, he said, he protested: “Why you got to shoot him like that, for nothing?”
A similar description of the shooting was given by Precious Blood, 16, who said she heard about 10 shots fired, most if not all by one officer. Another officer called out: “Stop, stop, stop shooting — he’s down,” she said, but the shooter kept firing, “like he was playing with a toy.”
The law enforcement official gave a different version of the encounter, saying that Mr. Coppin charged toward the officers and refused repeated orders to stop. The police said they were also exploring the possibility that Mr. Coppin was trying to prompt a shooting, a phenomenon known as “suicide by cop.”
"He wanted us to shoot him 20 times while he was unarmed."