Here's what we know about the knife-wielding man shot by police in Midtown

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, May 19, 2016
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N.J. Burkett reports live from Midtown.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A co-worker of the knife-wielding man who was shot and killed by police at a busy intersection in Midtown Manhattan Wednesday morning has released new details about what happened before the deadly ordeal.

The incident involved one man, identified as 46-year-old Garry Conrad, who stopped in at the Food Emporium at West 49th Street and Eighth Avenue at about 8:30 a.m.

Sources told Eyewitness News that Conrad was a unionized stagehand working at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where "The Book of Mormon" is being performed.

According to co-worker Casey Ray, Conrad was drunk and smelled like alcohol when he showed up at work at 7:30 a.m. Co-workers told him to go home and sober up.

"(He) then went over to Food Emporium to get more alcohol," Ray told ABC News. "We called the Food Emporium, told them don't serve him any beer. He got violent with the cashier."

The NYPD said Conrad was trying to buy beer when he became "aggressive, belligerent and swearing toward workers in the store."

A police officer nearby was alerted to the situation and approached Conrad outside the store. They got into a struggle and fell to the ground.

Police said that as Conrad was getting up, he pulled out an 8-inch knife and started coming toward the officer and two other NYPD officers who responded to the scene.

The officers ordered Conrad to put the knife down, but police said he didn't comply, and kept heading towards the officers with the knife.

An officer and a sergeant fired nine shots at Conrad, killing him.

"The cops told him to drop the knife, he never did. He just kept lunging at him, and that's when the cop shot him," said Ray, who witnessed the shooting.

Ray said his co-worker's behavior seemed to change over time.

"His stable mind was not there and he was not there mentally," Ray said.

A woman who was standing nearby at the time of the shooting was grazed by a bullet. She suffered minor injuries. An officer was also treated for minor injuries.