Family of 19-year-old man shot and killed by NYPD officers in Queens demands justice

N.J. Burkett Image
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Family of 19-year-old fatally shot by police in Queens demands justice at City Hall
N.J. Burkett has the story in Midtown on the shooting.

OZONE PARK, Queens (WABC) -- Officers Matthew Cianfrocco and Salvatore Alongi arrived at the family's home after a 911 call from 19-year-old Winn Rozario, who claimed he was in distress.

Bodycam footage released by the New York State Attorney General shows the officers walking calmly to the second floor, where the man's mother and brother direct them to the kitchen.

But once the officers entered, Rozario grabbed a pair of scissors and lunged at the officers. The officers immediately fired a taser, which momentarily stunned Rozario. In an instant, it's pandemonium.

The officers pleaded with the woman to stand back as she attempted to disarm Rozario. Meanwhile, his brother begged the officers not to shoot.

Eventually, Rozario's mother was able to get the knife out of his hands but the moment she backed away, the officers fired a second taser. And with that, Rozario became enraged. He grabbed the scissors again and lunged at the officers, who backed up. In the struggle there was a gunshot.

As the family wrestled to disarm Rozario, he raised the scissors again and that's when the video appears to show Officer Cianfrocco firing four shots, even as it appears Rozario can barely stand. He then slumped to the kitchen floor, mortally wounded.

"In the minutes before they came, everything was calm. Then they came and created chaos and murdered him in front of me," the victim's mother Notan Eva Costa said.

Speaking in Bengali outside City Hall, Rozario's Bangladeshi mother condemned the shooting. Rozario's brother is demanding the officers be fired and prosecuted.

"The police was so aggressive and reckless that they could have killed my mom and me too, in our own house," the victim's brother Uthso Rozario said.

Charles Lieberman is a retired NYPD detective and helped draft the department's policy for responding to people in crisis.

"Anytime you're dealing with somebody who's potentially dangerous and who has a weapon you're trained that time and space are your best friends," Lieberman said. "And in the times in which the mother was between when Rosario and the officers, there was no direct threat to the officers."


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