New York police shot and killed a knife-wielding man near Times Square after he led a long trail of officers and camera-wielding gawkers on a slow-motion chase.
Police said the incident started when officers confronted 51-year-old Darrius Kennedy of Long Island for smoking marijuana in the middle of Times Square at West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue on Saturday.
The man pulled out a knife while three officers were talking to him on a sidewalk, and then the police pulled out their guns, two tourists from Brazil told the New York Times.
A pack of officers quickly accumulated as well as an entourage of onlookers with camera phones.
Videos showed the man cantering backward down the middle of the street, a large knife in hand, hopping away from a swarm of police officers who were slowly following him with guns drawn. Onlookers shouted for him to lie down or police would shoot him — and shouted at one another to keep filming.
Police said they pepper-sprayed him six times but that he didn’t surrender, and that when he lunged at them on West 37th Street they opened fire.
According to NBC News, two officers fired 12 shots and hit Kennedy in the chest, groin, left arm and left calf.
NBC News also reported that Kennedy had been arrested 10 times before, including once for knocking over trashcans along Times Square and another time in 2008 for allegedly threatening police and passersby with a screwdriver.