Agents who shot and killed a Brooklyn bipolar man had no idea of his mental health problems when they confronted him in a corner, a police source said on Thursday
. The police responded to the intersection of Utica Ave. and Montgomery St. in Crown Heights after receiving three calls to 911 reporting an armed man in the neighborhood.
When the officers met with Saheed Vassell, "all they knew was that it matched the description and had what appeared to be a weapon in their hands," the source told the Daily News.
A video obtained by News showed that Vassell was staggering toward a frightened pedestrian before taking a shiny silver object from his pocket before the fatal shooting.
NYPD police shoot, kill bipolar black Man with metal pipe in New York
Police said four of the five officers who responded fired 10 shots Wednesday afternoon after Vassell threw himself into a two-handed shooter position, with the silver object in his possession.
Vassell, 35, wore a piece of shiny metal, possibly a shower head.
Police officers at the scene were unaware of Vassell's mental health problems because he was sent to a street instead of a specific address, the source said.
Calls to an address are accompanied by reports of previous calls in place for people with emotional disorders, according to the source.
Police said they intended to publish transcripts of the frantic 911 calls that preceded the mortals 4:40 p. m. meeting.
It was not clear if the officers identified themselves before the fatal shooting, although two of the officers were in uniform, the source said.
Angry relatives of the murdered man returned on Thursday morning to the scene of the shooting, where they continued to ventilate over the deadly encounter.
"It's a piece of iron and they kill him for a piece of iron," said Vassell's aunt, Nora Ford, 59, describing the object holding her nephew.
"I just want to touch the blood where he died," she continued. "I bet if he were a white kid, they would not shoot him like that."
Residents described Vassell as a harmless, eccentric neighborhood that is often seen talking only on the street where he was killed.
Despite her difficulties, her aunt said that Vassell always found time to help her family.
"He came to my house to help me with my computer," he said. "I told him:" I do not know how to use a computer. "He told me:" Aunt, I have you. "
Police shoot, kill a Brooklyn man wielding a metal object
"Just love, he was very loved," he added.
A senior police source said a surveillance video taken from the area shows that Vassell was acting as if the piece of metal he was holding was a weapon.
"It was tragic what happened, but it was a good shootout," the source said. "This guy had some mental problems and alcohol was involved, and based on what he was doing and what he had in his hands, he's definitely going to be justified."
Eyewitness Jesus Santiago, 55, said he saw Vassell arguing and pointing the stick at residents before the shooting. But he did not think anything of the strange behavior, saying that it was a typical and harmless behavior.
"We know him here," he said. "He's a little crazy, but he does not bother us."
Santiago estimated that they went from 20 to 30 seconds since the police arrived until they were fired.
"Everything happened so fast," he said. came and someone said, & # 39; Has a weapon & # 39; Nobody said anything. They started firing. "
Santiago said the police were a few meters from Vassell when they opened fire.
" You could see from a distance that it was not a weapon, "he said. Why the hell? Did you have to shoot him ten times? "
Neighborhood resident Bob Dylan, 29, said that Vassell always had the metal rod with him.
" He never had it, he just kept it around his waist. "Dylan said
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