A New York City police officer shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old drug suspect following a foot pursuit and a confrontation inside the victim's home, police said Thursday.
It was the third time in a week that an NYPD officer has killed a criminal suspect.
The latest shooting occurred at about 3 p.m. Thursday in the Bronx. Plainclothes officers wearing NYPD raid jackets were there investigating street-corner drug dealing, said department spokesman Paul Browne.
Officers from a street narcotics task force saw a man on the street, and when they approached him, he ran off, police said.
Officers chased the man into a building on East 229th Street, up to the second floor, where the suspect was seen flushing something down a toilet, police said.
At some point in the chase, the officer fired one shot at close range from his 9mm semiautomatic handgun, Browne said. The victim was struck in the chest and collapsed inside the bathroom.
The suspect was taken to Montefiore Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
He was identified by police as Ramarley Graham of the Bronx.Browne said two other police officers and family members of the victim, including his mother, were inside the apartment at the time of the shooting.
Marijuana was found inside the home, police said. No weapon was recovered.
Graham's mother cried as she spoke to reporters Thursday night, wondering out loud why her son was shot.
"Everybody's kids get into trouble," said Constance Malcolm. "He smoked a little weed, like young kids does. And that's what he had on him when they were chasing him."
"Nobody deserves to get shot like that, in your own house," she said.
The name of the 30-year-old officer was not released. He joined the force in 2008, and had not been involved in any previous shootings, Browne said.
Brown said investigators were interviewing potential witnesses and the shooting remained under investigation.
On Jan. 26, an off-duty NYPD officer shot and killed a suspected carjacker during a shootout in Brooklyn. And on Sunday night, an off-duty detective shot and killed a 17-year-old after police say the teen and another suspect hit the officer with a cane and tried to rob him in Brooklyn while he was walking to catch a subway to work.
In a fourth shooting incident involving the NYPD on Tuesday, a gunman shot an officer in the head after the officer responded to a report of shots fired in Brooklyn, police said. The alleged shooter was caught about two hours after the shooting and charged with attempted murder.
The wounded officer is expected to recover.