The family of a man who was fatally shot by police at a public housing complex in Brownsville on Saturday suspects that police aren't being honest about the circumstances surrounding his death.
In a statement released yesterday, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said that two officers from the Housing Bureau responded to a 911 call reporting a suspicious man in the hallway of 362 Sutter Avenue in Brownsville. The officers allegedly found a male suspect, Erickson Gomez Brito, in the 9th floor hallway and requested his ID, but he grabbed one of the officers' batons and began to hit both of them in the head.
Police say the male officer was hit in the head and sustained two-inch gash at the top of his scalp as a result, and his female partner was hit in the head as well. According to police, both officers fired at Gomez, who was struck several times and was pronounced dead at the scene. The officers were taken to Jamaica Hospital with serious injuries.
But Gomez's sister, Omahis Gomez Brito, told ABC7 New York that the man described in the police report doesn't sound like her brother.
"He has a family. He's not somebody that's been in gangs and all that stuff," she told the site. "They're not just gonna kill somebody and think they're going to get away with it."
"There could have been another way that they could have handled that. Why did they have to shoot him seven times? Even if he was on medication, wasn't there a way to deal with that?"
Omahis told the Times that her brother had been treated for depression three years ago but hadn't been taken his medication recently.
"I want justice for my brother," she told reporters outside the building where she and her brother lived with their parents.
Their father, Osiris Gomez, told reporters in Spanish that his son was not violent. Other building residents told reporters that he was a regular in the building and was visiting his aunt, who lived there.