Police gun down teen they thought was armed

NYPD: Mom said he had a gun, but he had a hair brush
November 12, 2007 9:00:00 PM PST
A deadly police shooting in Brooklyn is under investigation this morning. Officers opened fire on a teenager when he charged at them with what they thought was a gun. It was only a hairbrush.The man's mother had initially called a hospital psychiatric unit, trying to get help for her son. When the psychiatric workers arrived, he was gone, they could not find him so they left. When the son returned, that's when trouble began.

A mother's domestic violence call to police turned into a deadly nightmare. Police say that in a 911 call, a woman claimed her son threatening her with a gun.

"The only thing I heard was 'he got a gun, he got a gun,'" an eyewitness said.

When police arrived, they say 18-year-old Khiel Coppin started screaming at them from a window before climbing out of the window and crossing the street toward the officers.

"There was a police waiting on the side of his window waiting for him to come out ... when he came out he came out with his hand in his pocket," an eyewitness said.

Five police officers fired 20 bullets. The suspect was hit 13 times. Police say the teen had a black object in his hand as he approached them and that they ordered him to stop. They say they opened fire when he charged them. The object in his hand, turned out to be a hairbrush. Three independent eyewitnesses we spoke to say the young man was unarmed when police opened fire. They also say the officers started firing after Coppin put his hands up, and dropped the brush on the ground.

"He stands on his window sill, police right there tell him 'yo get down, get down' so he jumped off the window sill now and he holding his shirt ... he come out of a little gate and then he dropped the brush, put his hands up and police started firing," another eyewitness said.

"He had a gun but when they shot him he did not have a gun on him," another eyewitness said.

The National Action Network, Al Sharpton's organization, is now representing the family. The mother is telling them now, she never told police that her son had a gun.

Police sources are saying on the 911 tape a man can be heard yelling that Coppin had a gun.


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