BAY SHORE - Police say a robbery suspect was shot and killed in Bay Shore after trying to get away in a carjacked vehicle that had two children inside.
The incident occurred after a Best Buy employee called police to report a man who had shoplifted Beats headphones. Police say when an officer from the 3rd Precinct arrived, a witness pointed to 21-year-old Denzel Brown hiding nearby.
Chief James Burke says a foot pursuit ensued and Brown attempted to steal a vehicle from the parking lot.
“The officer, in an effort to apprehend the suspect, deployed her Taser,” said Burke. “Unfortunately, only one prong struck him, rendering the Taser ineffective.”
Burke says Brown then ran into the nearby neighborhood and tried unsuccessfully to carjack another car. Police say Brown then forced his way into a car in the driveway of a home on Nevada Avenue. A woman was in the driver seat with her young boys, ages 4 and 6, in the backseat.
According to Burke, Brown put the car in reverse despite commands from the officer to get out of the vehicle.
“Fearing that he was about to kidnap the children, the officer fired one shot at close range to try to terminate that kidnapping,” said Burke.
Police say the officer was dragged with the car, and tried to use her Taser again on Brown. Police say when the Taser failed again, she fired another shot at close range, hitting Brown in the abdomen.
Brown later died at Southside Hospital. The boys who were in the car witnessed the Taser shots and the shooting, but were not physically hurt.
Burke called the shooting “justified" and called the officer's actions “heroic.”
Court records show Brown has been arrested before on drug and robbery charges. Brown's family and friends say he was not armed and did not deserve to die.