Police kill bat-wielding man in the Bronx

December 10, 2008 4:26:23 PM PST
A man allegedly wielding a baseball bat was shot and killed by police in the Bronx Wednesday.Officers say they were forced to open fire when the man would not drop the bat, but his family says police fired for no reason.

The incident happened in the Fordham section. The 40-year-old man was shot by police on the fifth floor of 2710 Bainbridge Avenue.

Police say Alex Figueroa was shot once in the chest and rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead in surgery.

Officials say police responded to the building on a report of a man with a bat in a dispute with another person. They reportedly encountered Figueroa and ordered him several times to put down his bat.

Police say he refused and then lunged at them. One of the officers fired one shot at the man, hitting him in the chest.

The officer who fired the shot was taken to the hospital for treatment of trauma. Police recovered the bat at the scene.

The victim's wife, Sandra Rodriguez, says police killed Alex Figueroa for no reason. She says her husband went upstairs last night with one mission: to confront neighbors who insulted her teenage daughter.

Figuroa, she says, brought a long piece of wood with him, but Rodriguez doesn't believe that he went after police.

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