Updated 08/12/2012 10:27 AM
Police Shoot, Kill Knife-Wielding Man Near Times Square
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Police shot and killed a Long Island man who was wielding a knife near Times Square Saturday afternoon.
Darrius Kennedy, 51, of Hempstead, N.Y., according to police, was the man involved in the incident, which took place around 3 p.m. in the vicinity of West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue.
According to police, officers approached a man who appeared to be smoking a marijuana cigarette and began questioning him. When the officers moved to arrest him, he became agitated and pulled out a knife that authorities say was nearly a foot long.
The 11-inch knife wielded by the suspect
Police say that officers repeatedly ordered him to drop the knife as he backed down Seventh Avenue, and used pepper spray on him six times to try to disarm him, but he refused to drop the weapon.
Authorities say the man then lunged at the officers, at which point officers shot him in the torso. It is uncertain how many shots were fired.
He was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where police say he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Witnesses at the scene gave NY1 conflicting reports and cellphone video of the incident.
"I saw like 20 or more police coming down this way to 38th Street and all the cops coming from the other side," said one. "I heard the police say 'drop the weapon, stop.' The man didn't stop. I guess that was the reason to hit him and blast him. It was six shots to hit that man. It was right there on 38th Street."
"He was screaming, cursing," said another witness. "He was out of control. My little sister was crying. People were screaming. I don't think they could've handled it any other way. They kept asking him to drop it and he wasn't dropping it. I don't know what else they could've done."
Some witnesses said police not only used excessive force but should not have opened fire in an area filled with so many people.
Three officers involved were treated for minor injuries.