Sergeant James Rector had just left work at a police recruiting office near the Walt Whitman Houses in Fort Greene when he saw a teenager pointing a gun execution-style at a man on the street. Rector yelled for 17 year old Eric Hines to stop and identified himself as a police officer, but Hines shot him twice. Rector, while hit in the ankle and butt, managed to shoot 11 rounds at Hines, hitting him in the leg and on the right side. Rector is recovering from his wounds while Hines died from his injuries. Hines's initial target was treated for a shot in the leg and was also questioned by police.
Rector was able to tell police that Hines was not acting alone; someone took Hines's 40 caliber gun into the housing project while another armed man left the scene in a car. Later on, a gun magazine and bags of crack were tossed out a window of the housing project, and the police took five people into custody. The NY Times reports City Councilwoman Letitia James as saying, "It was a drug turf war. It's all too common here," while one resident told the Daily News:
"One guy was from Walt Whitman, and the other was from the Ingersoll Houses [across the street]. One carries a gun, the other carries a gun, both of them have a beef and this is what happens."
Police Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg praised Rector's quick thinking and fortune. The Mayor also added, “Commissioner Kelly and I are sick and tired of being called to hospitals for illegal gun violence.”
Hines's father told reporters that he didn't know anything, lamenting, "My baby's gone. My baby's gone, man."