NYPD Shoot, Kill Man Near Times Square

The police shot and killed a man in Midtown Manhattan just blocks from Times Square.

The man was identified as Darrius Kennedy of Hempstead, N.Y., and a native of South Carolina. Police said the encounter began Saturday around 3 p.m. when an officer approached Kennedy, who was smoking marijuana near the military recruiting station in Times Square, around West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue.

Kennedy became agitated, pulled out an 11-inch knife and began to put a bandanna on his head, police said. He refused repeated orders to drop the weapon and began backing down the avenue, continuing for a number of blocks and drawing many officers into a slow-speed pursuit that took them south of Times Square.

He was pepper sprayed six times, but still refused to drop the knife, according to police.  After the man lunged at two other responding officers, they opened fire striking him in the chest.

He was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Witnesses recalled a chaotic scene in which some bystanders took cover, while others began following the procession down the avenue in an attempt to capture cellphone video of it. On video obtained by NY1 cable news station, a number of officers, guns drawn, can be seen pursuing the man as he appears to skip down Seventh Avenue.

"He was swinging at people as he ran," Jobby Nogver, a 17-year-old visiting from Boston, told The New York Times. Nogver watched as police surrounded the man and fired. "I can't tell you how many shots," he said.

Priscilla Rocha, a tourist from Brazil, was visiting Times Square with her husband when they saw the confrontation.

"I almost had a heart attack," she told the Times. "Everyone started running."

With the Associated Press