Akai Gurley was leaving with his girlfriend from her apartment. Unarmed, and unaware that he was doing anything wrong (he wasn’t), he decided the elevator was too slow to arrive, and opened the stairwell door.  That was his last mistake.

A rookie NYPD cop killed him just seconds afterward. Why? The stairwell was dark and the officer said the door being opened startled him. Or basically for no reason at all (We don’t know whether he already had his gun out, but my understanding is that NYPD officers are allowed to “vertically patrol” certain housing project apartment buildings with their guns drawn for no reason whatsoever).

From the New York Daily News:


Akai Gurley

A “nervous” rookie cop fatally shot an unarmed man without a word of warning in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project late Thursday, a police source said.

The victim’s helpless girlfriend recounted Friday how she was left to watch Akai Gurley die after the single gunshot tore into his chest without so much as a word of warning.

Officer Peter Liang, who fired the fatal shot, “heard a noise,” a police source told the Daily News. “It was dark. He must have been nervous.”

Gurley, 28, had just entered the stairwell near his steady sweetheart’s seventh floor apartment at about 11:15 p.m. when Liang fatally shot him in the chest, said the source and the girlfriend.

“I shot him accidentally,” Liang told colleagues afterward. His partner never fired his gun, the source said.

Devastated gal pal Melissa Butler, with tears pouring down her face Friday morning, said the officer coming downstairs from the eighth floor blasted Gurley without explanation.

The only sound was the deafening echo of the gunshot in the stairwell at the Pink Houses.

“They didn’t identify themselves, said Butler, 27, who began dating Gurley in January 2011. “No nothing. They didn’t give no explanation. They just pulled a gun and shot him in the chest.”

All this would be horribly bad. But it gets worse. Much worse.Butler said the officers never came down to check on the mortally wounded man, and medical help was only sent after she banged on a neighbor’s door for help.That’s right. After you, as a peace officer, sworn to protect and serve, shoot someone, you don’t call an ambulance, you don’t attempt to help the ictim, you stand around and watch the person bleed out. Oh wait, that’s Ferguson, and Oakland. Here they did something a little different…Both officers were taken to Jamaica Hospital and treated for tinnitus.