Mt. Vernon police officer fatally shot by cop

Officer shot when he refused to drop weapon
January 26, 2008 3:12:01 PM PST
Police shot a Mount Vernon police officer in White Plains Friday.The exact events leading up to the shooting death of an off- duty Mount Vernon police officer are still unclear.

The suspect in the shooting is another police officer.

Eyewitness News reporter Thalia Patillo joins us live from the scene in White Plains.

"They fired away and he just died," said an eyewitness, Damon Jones. "I have never seen something like that in my life."

Eyewitnesses were in shock and horror yesterday afternoon in White Plains after 23-year-old off duty Mount Vernon police officer Christopher Ridley was shot and killed.

The incident happened shortly after 5 p.m. in the middle of the busy downtown area outside the Westchester County Department of Social Services.

Police said two men were involved in an argument outside 85 Court Street when one of them pulled out a gun and possibly fired a shot.

The noise drew the attention of officers inside the building, who came out and ordered the armed man to drop the gun, police said. Police began firing after the man did not comply, according to authorities.

One eyewitness says Ridley got into a fight with a man, and then pulled out a gun. Police surrounded Ridley, and opened fire.

"When the cops told him to freeze, like several times "don't move, don't move," the guy still grabbed the gun," said an eyewitness Derrell Bennett. "And, then the cops opened fire."

Another woman has a different account of what happened, claiming the off-duty officer was an innocent man, caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I think that he just happened to be there trying to take the other guy, too. He wasn't involved in anything," said an eyewitness. "He just happened to be standing there."

So, again there are conflicting stories.

White Plains Public Safety Commissioner Frank Straub told that the victim of the shooting was a Mount Vernon police officer. He was not in uniform at the time. He was later identified as Christopher Ridley.