FLATBUSH, Brooklyn - An investigation is underway after an emotionally disturbed man was shot and killed by police, as family members question whether the use of deadly force was necessary.
Mourners gathered at a church in Brooklyn Monday night after police shot the man they say charged at officers with a knife.
The incident happened on New York Avenue near Foster Avenue in East Flatbush just after noon Monday.
Officers say the mother of 32-year-old Dwayne Jeune called police, telling them he had mental health issues but was not armed. But when officers arrived at the apartment, they say Jeune sprang out of a bedroom with a massive carving knife.
One officer reportedly fired a Taser, but it didn't work. The officer fell down while backing out of the room, and Jeune allegedly stood over him with the knife.
That is when a second officer opened fire, shooting five times and killing Jeune. Police identified the officer who discharged his weapon as Miguel Gonzalez, of the 67th Precinct.
For Jeune's family, there were more questions than answers.
"She called 911 for her son to be able to get the help that he needs, not for her son not to be here right now," said Rev. Kevin McCall, of the National Action Network. "She called 911. What is the purpose of 911? To call them to get help or to call them to get death?"
The distraught family left the neighborhood church Monday night, where they'd been processing their inexplicable loss of a man they described as a gentle giant.
"I know he had a little mental problem, but to be violent and all, that I don't know," said Devon Luke, Jeune's cousin. "Every time you see him, always, 'good morning, good afternoon.' That's the Dwayne I know."
Police are trying to figure out why the Taser didn't stop him the way it's designed to.
The officer who fired the shots also shot and wounded a different emotionally disturbed person this past October, which is still under investigation. That man is now on trial for assaulting a cop.