Questioned by the defense in Sergeant Hugh Barry's murder trial, NYPD Officer Camilo Rosario said Deborah Danner warned Barry and other officers that she was going to fight them if they entered her bedroom.
Rosario said that he and Barry tried to calm the 66-year-old down, telling Danner that they did not want to handcuff her.
"I figured, probably, she would comply once we get in the bedroom," Rosario testified. "She went left and came back with a bat...We got surprised by her grabbing the bat."
The defense had Rosario pick up that bat to demonstrate what happened. Rosario held it upright and made a small circular motion with it. He said Danner did this with the bat while leaning on her bed.
The officer testified that Sergeant Barry then said, "Ma'am, drop the bat," about three times before firing his gun.
The defense asked, "Did you believe she was going to swing the bat at Sergeant Barry?"
"Yes, I did," Rosario responded.
As he did on Monday during questioning by the prosecution, Rosario said Danner did not actually swing the bat.
Still, the sergeants union said if Barry thought Danner was going to swing it, the shooting was justified.
"I think everyone was planning to wrestle her and get control of her, but then what changed — you heard him say it — she picked up a bat all of sudden, and that made a difference as to what happened," said Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association.
Danner, a paranoid schizophrenic, was killed in her Bronx apartment in October of 2016. Prosecutors charge that Barry did not have to shoot her, and ignored his training in doing so.
The defense is expected to call its own expert. It says that person will prove that, with Danner's strength and the weight of the bat, she could have killed Sergeant Barry.
The expert will show videos of women the same age as Danner swinging a bat at crash test dummies.
The prosecution says a stationary dummy is not the same as a trained police officer.