The mother of the man fatally shot in a Brooklyn subway station by a retired New York City correction officer in March is distraught that she won't get "some type of justice for her son," a family spokesman told NBC 4 New York Tuesday, a day after authorities announced no criminal charges would be filed.
The Brooklyn district attorney's office announced Monday that 68-year-old retired officer William Groomes would not be charged in the deadly shooting of Gilbert Drogheo inside the Borough Hall subway station March 10. Groomes shot Drogheo after the two got into an argument on a No. 4 train.
"She's a wreck -- it was even very hard to talk to her this morning," the Rev. Kevin McCall of the National Action Network, who is speaking on Drogheo's mother's behalf, said Tuesday. "The pain and agony she feels that she at least was going to get some type of hope, some type of justice for her son."
The shooting stemmed from an argument Groomes got into with two men after he boarded a Brooklyn-bound No. 4 train at the Bowling Green station in Manhattan. The altercation turned physical. Groomes and the two men got off the train at the Borough Hall stop and started fighting on the platform, a source told NBC 4 New York at the time said. Groomes allegedly then identified himself as an officer and told Drogheo and Evering that they would be put under arrest.
The men ran away, the source said. Groomes followed and pulled out a gun as they tried to exit the station, firing one round into Drogheo. The fatal altercation was captured on video, a fact that McCall says makes the lack of charges even more difficult for Drogheo's mother to swallow.
"You had video in black and white -- everybody saw it," McCall said Tuesday.
In announcing Groomes wouldn't be charged Monday, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson called Drogheo's death tragic, but said that based on interviews with multiple eyewitnesses who saw the events that lead up to the shooting, a review of surveillance tapes and other evidence, "we cannot prove any charge of homicide beyond a reasonable doubt."
Norman Seabrook, the president of the city Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, told NBC 4 New York in March the union believes the retired officer, who stayed at the scene with the other man after the shooting, acted in self-defense when he fired at Drogheo.
In a statement Tuesday, Groomes' attorney Peter Troxler said his client was gratified the Brooklyn district attorney's office opted not to pursue charges.
"Mr. Groomes cooperated with authorities at all stages of this investigation and is thankful that the criminal justice system afforded him an opportunity to provide his evidence and be given a full and fair opportunity to defend himself," Troxler said.