New York Police Department officers accidentally shot and killed a man who called them for help on Monday. The NYPD brought more attention to the fatality by initially claiming the victim died from a stab wound instead of an officer’s stray bullet.
Rafael Laureano, 51, called the NYPD when he was locked out of an apartment and another man, Francisco Carvajal, was inside. Laureano had already been stabbed by Carvajal when he called police. When officers arrived, they heard a woman screaming inside. Officers broke down the door and entered the apartment.
Carvajal was found inside brandishing a knife and making threats. Police ordered him to drop the knife, but he refused and attacked Laureano. As Carvajal and Laureano fought, the officers opened fire. NBC New York reports that the officers fired 12 rounds at Carvajal. One of the rounds strayed off target and struck Laureano in the back, killing him.
The initial police report claimed Carvajal stabbed Laureano to death, but a medical examiner ruled otherwise. The examiner said it was clear a bullet fired by an NYPD officer killed Laureano.
NYPD spokesperson Stephan Davis confirmed this week that the department was responsible for the death.
“It’s clear that Laureano inadvertently got hit by a police bullet,” Davis said, according to NBC New York.
Carvajal also died from police fire. Thankfully, the woman and two children inside the apartment were not struck.