Two days after a New York City man was fatally shot in Yonkers after a police chase, the victim's family stepped forward Thursday to question the justification for killing their unarmed relative.
"They not only killed my nephew, they've killed all my family," said a distraught Araceli Cubilette of the death of her nephew, 36-year-old Miguel Espinal, of Queens.
Espinal was shot and killed by police after running into the woods following a wrong-way crash on the Saw Mill River Parkway. His 25-year-old passenger was hospitalized in stable condition; police didn't identify him or say if he faced charges.
Authorities said the chase began in the Bronx, when NYPD officers saw a Nissan sports car driving erratically. When the marked patrol car attempted to stop the car, the driver fled onto the Henry Hudson Parkway.
After crashing the Nissan in Yonkers, Espinal fled into the woods in Tibbets Brook Park, police said.
Police caught up with him in the woods and there was some sort of confrontation, and an officer's firearm discharged, killing the suspect, police said.
Police did not reveal details about the nature of the struggle in the woods or what led the officer to fire his gun.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the Westchester district attorney have opened investigations into the shooting.
An executive order issued by Gov. Cuomo in July gave Schneiderman the authority to investigate cases involving deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of law enforcement officers.
Espinal's family welcomed the attorney general's investigation.
"I'm glad they became involved, but we have to make sure he keeps pursuing it," said Justin Julbe, Espinal's brother. "We have to pursue it."