What to Know
- Four NYPD officers shot and killed a man who they said pointed what was later determined to be the head of a welding torch at them Wednesday
- The officers were responding to a shots-fired call in Crown Height when they encountered the man, who turned to them with the torch
- The shooting sparked two nights of protests by people who said police should have known Vassell suffered from mental illness.
The metal item the man who was shot and killed by police in Brooklyn earlier this week after getting calls about him pointing what looked like a gun at pedestrians was a the head of a welding torch, the NYPD revealed Friday.
The department also released more 911 transcripts following the shooting death of Saheed Vaseell in Crown Heights on Wednesday that appeared to indicate they were terrified but also uncertain whether the object the man had really was a gun, 911 transcripts.
One caller Wednesday said, "He's pointing a silver thing in a lady's face."
When the dispatcher asked if it was a gun, the caller said, "I don't know if it's a gun, ma'am. It seems like a gun. It's silver."
Officers responding to the 911 calls fired 10 shots at the 34-year-old Vassell, killing him.
The shooting sparked two nights of protests by people who said police should have known Vassell suffered from mental illness.
The police department has released surveillance videos and 911 transcripts to back up the department's position that the officers who responded to the 911 calls had reason to believe Vassell posed a deadly threat.
The video clips show Vassell thrusting an object that looks like a gun into the faces of several people, including a woman holding the hand of a child.
In one of the three 911 calls released Friday, the caller says, "He looks like he is crazy, but he's pointing something at people that looks like a gun and he's like popping it like he's pulling the trigger."
Another caller says, "Oh my God!" and screams.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his office will investigate Vassell's death.