Questions surround deadly Brooklyn police shooting

June 15, 2012 8:14:19 PM PDT
A woman driving a stolen car was fatally shot Thursday during an altercation with plainclothes police officers after she had run several lights and collided with a minivan at a Brooklyn intersection, police said.

The woman was shot around 5:40 p.m. after crashing at Church Avenue and 38th Street in East Flatbush.

Police say the the 23-year-old woman, identified as Shantel Davis, was due in court Friday to face charges of attempted murder and kidnapping. She was free on bail, and her driver's license had been suspended.

There was blood everywhere, and bystanders rushed in to help the woman lying next to the carjacked Toyota.

Police say she had blown through several red lights before crashing into the van, then moved to the passenger side and swung the door open, hitting an approaching officer and throwing him backward.

Officers say the woman then threw the car into reverse to escape.

The second officer was already half in on the driver's side, trying to put the car back in park. There was a struggle, and one shot was fired, hitting the woman in the chest.

Davis was taken to Kings County Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The driver of the minivan and both officers were treated for minor injuries.

It's still not clear if the gunshot was accidental, or if the officer fired to keep from being run over by the car. People who saw parts of the incident were shaken, and many don't support the officers' actions.

"There was no weapon involved and the information that I have does not seem to suggest that this woman was involved in any way to be a threat to police to warrant the use of deadly force," New York State Assemblyman Nick Perry said.

The Camry was reported stolen in a gunpoint carjacking on June 5, police said. The victim of that carjacking has positively identified the victim of the police shooting as the carjacker, according to authorities. The officers were placed on administrative duty while a review of the shooting is conducted.

Authorities said the 44-year-old officer who fired the shot, Detective Phillip Atkins, has been on the force since 2000 and has never fired his weapon before. The other officer has been on the job since 2006 and is 27.

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