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Suspicions loom that cop's bullet killed Denise Gay

CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 9/14/2011, 6:24 p.m.

Reports indicate that ballistic tests, which originally came back inconclusive, revealed that the person who shot 56-year-old Denise Gay while she was sitting on her stoop in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, is not the person named as a suspect in her murder. There is a possibility that she may have been killed by a police bullet, but the NYPD has not taken responsibility for the shooting.

Gay was one of the two victims killed during the slew of nearly 70 shootings that happened around the city during the Labor Day weekend. The NYPD is reporting that the bullet removed from Gay did not match the gun of the suspect, LeRoy Webster.

On surveillance video, the NYPD can be seen engaging in a dangerous gun battle with Webster that played out on the street. In total, 76 bullets flew during the shootout. Gay was an innocent bystander who was caught in the crossfire.

Webster was also wounded, along with two NYPD officers who were on the scene.

"What happened is-in my judgment, not having seen the film-the fact that the individual shot at police, clearly shot at police, was hit, stopped shooting, [spent] several seconds laying on the ground, then picked up the gun and started shooting again, that brought a second volley of shots," Commissioner Ray Kelly said at recent press conference on the shooting.

This past Saturday, at the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network's weekly rally, Sharpton joined Gay's family in questioning the NYPD about where the shot that killed the beloved mother came from. Sharpton said that the shooting in the street by the NYPD wasn't called for.

"What kind of police shoot like this?" Sharpton inquired. "We can't have police acting like it's the O.K. Corral. We don't know where the bullet came from."

Gay's brother, Les, spoke at the rally on behalf of her family. He said that planning his sister's funeral was difficult, saying she had been a kind person. He said he wants justice in the situation.

"She would give you the shirt off of her back," he said. "I just don't know what else to say. I want to find out why, how, who did this. I know it won't bring my sister back, but maybe this won't happen again."