What to Know
- The family of a man shot by police in Harlem on Tuesday say officers should have known the man was mentally ill — and shouldn’t have fired
- An officer fired at Michael Cordero after he pointed what was later discovered to be a wallet and assumed a shooting stance
- Cordero’s parents say they called 911, hoping to get help — but didn’t expect the call would lead to their son’s shooting
The family of a man shot by police in Harlem on Tuesday say officers should have known the man was mentally ill — and shouldn’t have opened fire.
An NYPD officer fired three rounds at Michael Cordero, 34, shooting him in the hip, after Cordero assumed a shooting stance and pointed an object that was later discovered to be a black wallet at them, officials said. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Officials said police rushed to the building after a 911 caller said someone was pacing the halls with a gun.
Cordero’s parents also called 911, hoping to get help — but didn’t expect the call would lead to their son’s shooting.
“My son, by the grace of God, was not killed,” Cordero’s father, Salvador Cordero said Thursday. “Something like this, when it affects you and it happens right in front of your front door, you’re kind of numb. And actually I am still numb.”
Attorney Sanford Rubenstein, who has been retained by Cordero’s father, said Cordero’s parents made it clear their son was bipolar and schizophrenic when they called 911.
“The police who came to the scene, should have known from the 911 call he was mentally ill and should have followed that protocol, isolating him instead of shooting him,” Rubenstein maintained.
Cordero’s family wants to see additional surveillance video from the scene.
“We need to see everything that happened,” Rubenstein said, suggesting that there had been enough room in the hallway for police to shield themselves until officers with specialized training arrived.
Police, however, say the officers had to make a split-second decision. NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan on Wednesday said surveillance video from the building showed “how quickly this incident escalated.”
Officials on Wednesday said Cordero had been visiting his parents in the building despite the fact that his mother had an order of protection against him.
“In my opinion, they acted appropriately,” he said.