A “nervous” rookie cop, in a tragic misfire, fatally shot an unarmed man without a word of warning in a Brooklyn housing project stairwell late Thursday, police said.
The innocent victim’s helpless girlfriend recounted Friday how she was left to watch Akai Gurley die after the single gunshot tore into his chest during a routine police patrol gone horribly wrong.
“What happened last night was a very unfortunate tragedy,” said NYPD Commissioner William Bratton at a Friday news conference. “… It appears this may have been in fact an accidental discharge.”
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, was not a suspect in any crime or engaged in illegal activity when Liang fired his weapon once in the pitch-black stairwell, Bratton said.