Speed Reads

Crime

Rookie cop fatally shoots unarmed Brooklyn man walking down a staircase

A New York City cop fatally shot an unarmed Brooklyn man Thursday night, The New York Times reports. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton both referred to the shooting as an accident.

Peter Liang drew his flashlight and gun as he and his partner entered a dark apartment stairwell a floor above Akai Gurley, 28, and his girlfriend, Melissa Butler, 27. Liang and his partner were on a vertical patrol of the building.

"The cop didn't present himself, he just shot him in the chest," Butler's sister, Janice, told The Times. "They didn't see their face or nothing."

The father of a 2-year-old, Gurley lost consciousness shortly after the shot fired and was pronounced dead on arrival at Brookdale hospital, DNAinfo reports.

Bratton described Gurley as a "total innocent," and added that the incident was "tragic" and may have been caused by the gun accidentally discharging. The police department stripped Liang of his gun and badge, moving him a non-enforcement assignment until further notice. He had been on the job fewer than 18 months.