Exclusive: Officers were told man killed in Long Island police shooting had pellet gun

Kristin Thorne Image
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Exclusive: Officers told man killed in PD shooting had pellet gun
Eyewitness News has exclusively obtained police scanner transmissions from the night Suffolk County police shot and killed an East Northport man.

EAST NORTHPORT, Long Island (WABC) -- Eyewitness News has exclusively obtained police scanner transmissions from the night Suffolk County police shot and killed an East Northport man that reveals officers were told the man was carrying a pellet gun.

Jeffrey McClure, 26, was shot and killed by police on June 7 after investigators said McClure pointed a gun at officers and refused to drop the weapon, which they believed was a hunting rifle.

"The cops just did absolutely everything wrong," said Donald McClure, Jeffrey McClure's father.

He says he called police because his son appeared to be having a mental breakdown and was shooting the pellet gun inside the house on Grant Street, and that Jeffrey kept saying he wanted "to go to the hospital."

Donald McClure said he called police because he was hoping they would take his son to the hospital for psychiatric help, and that he informed responding officers of his son's wishes. Now, he is in disbelief that his son was shot and killed.

On the audio, an officer, just after arriving on scene, says, "We have a subject with supposedly a pellet gun. I'm not sure."

An officer on the scene then immediately yells, "He's pointing the gun at me! Don't point the gun at me!"

In transmissions moments later, officers say, "The subject is pointing the pellet gun at the units who pulled up" and "Be advised, he has a gun. They say it's a pellet gun. He has pointed it at us."

At some point, Jeffrey McClure disappeared into the basement of the home.

"Upon police arrival, a resident of the home indicated to officers that Jeffrey McClure had access to other weapons in the basement and that he was in the basement," Suffolk County Police Department Chief Gerard Gigante said.

According to investigators, McClure later got on the roof of the home, pointed the gun at officers and ignored demands to drop the weapon, which was later determined to be the pellet gun.

Throughout the entire police scanner transmission, there is no mention of a hunting rifle.

Neighbors recalled hearing the gunshots that killed McClure around 10:30 p.m.

"I woke up to what I thought was fireworks," Ashley Fransen said. "But it was like a very rapid succession, so just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. I heard five."

On the scanner audio, an officer can be heard saying, "Subject pointed a firearm at the police. Police took subject down. He is no longer a threat."

Gigante said that during a search of the home after the incident, investigators seized three long guns, half a dozen hand guns and ammunition from the basement.

Eyewitness News has learned exclusively that McClure's family and their attorney are set to meet next week with the New York Attorney General.


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