A parole officer fatally shot a knife-wielding parolee Tuesday at a New York State Division of Parole office in Jamaica, Queens, police officials said.
According to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, a parolee waiting at Queens I Area Office on Merrick Boulevard objected to revealing the contents of his backpack. When pressed, he pulled out a knife and held it up to a parole officer.
“He took out a knife, apparently, and had held it towards a police officer. He was told to drop the knife, he was overheard by one of our officers – an NYPD warrant squad officer who was present," said Kelly. "The two parole officers fired at this individual."
The man was hit by one bullet in the head and died as a result of his injuries.
A witness inside the parole office who did not want to be shown on camera described the scene.
"I don't know what they were looking for, weapons, drugs. The next thing you know, this guy - I don't know what he had in his hand, I know the lady got too close and he grabbed her," said the witness. "First shot, he didn't let her go. Second shot, third shot - I don't know, it was crazy in there."
The state Division of Parole issued a statement saying, "The Division of Parole is fully cooperating with the New York City Police Department as they conduct an investigation into this incident."
About 40 people were in the office at the time of the shooting. No other injuries were reported.