On Thursday, Jan. 12, when Duane Brown, 26, heard that some guys were messing with his brother, he ran half-dressed down the stairs of the East New York home he shared with his mom and brother. According to police reports, he was carrying a .38-Caliber Smith & Wesson revolver. Police called to a robbery in progress shot him center mass as he exited the back door.
His grieving sister Neola Kyte told reporters,”He makes a good living. He’s always in the house. It’s just messed up that they just took him like that.”
The Police Department told the AmNews, “Uniformed police officers from the 75th Precinct responded to 943 Schenck Ave. to a 911 call at 2236 hours of a robbery in progress. The 911 caller stated that there were two men armed with guns with their faces covered assaulting another male. Upon arrival, the uniformed officers encountered the female caller, who stated ‘they have guns’ and ran into the rear seat of the marked police vehicle.
“The officers then encountered a male [attempted robbery victim] who exited the rear of 943 Schenck Ave. and who complied with officers’ directions,” the statement continued. “Moments later, the officers were confronted by a second male, who emerged from the same rear door with a loaded .38 caliber revolver in his hand. One of the two officers discharged his weapon one time at the armed male, striking him in the chest.”
Brown was pronounced DOA at Brookdale Hospital.
Two masked robbers were in the process of trying to rob the house and had a gun pointed at Brown’s brother when his girlfriend managed to call the cops. By the time they arrived, the robbers were leaving in haste.
At the same time that police arrived at the back of the house in the narrow alleyway, the two would-be robbers escaped. The AmNews visited the area, where people in the neighborhood are asking why a cop would shoot a man who was half-dressed and obviously not the robber.
“They are too trigger-happy,” said a resident, who wanted to speak anonymously. “How do you let the guys go who are doing the crime and shoot the young man trying to protect his home and family?” Brown was a college grad and father of a 7-year-old boy.
“He failed to comply with an officer’s instructions not to move and was shot once in the chest,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at a press conference a day after the shooting. According to a CBS News report, Brown’s girlfriend, Renita Ferdinand, said that after she heard a gunshot, Brown crawled, bleeding, back up the stairs and said, “Call the cops, I got shot.”
“He didn’t say who [shot him],” said Ferdinand. “He fell and his eyes were rolling back in his head. Police came, they drew guns on me and him while he was down and they just stood over him, asking who was he but you could see him bleeding.”
Police claim that an officer shot Brown after he ignored orders to “freeze.”
After the shooting occurred at around 10:30 p.m., the victim’s distraught mother was not allowed back into her home for hours. She demanded to know what the police were up to hours after the incident.
“They’ve been there for hours trying to cover up what they want to cover up,” said Alice Bynoe Brown, standing with relatives, friends and Council Member Charles Barron.
“Tell them to turn the hands of time back,” she cried. “Take the house, take my car. Take everything. Just give me my son and I’ll be happy.”
“My cousin wasn’t supposed to die last night, not the way he did,” said Shawn Brown. “He was in his house. He was trying to protect his family from what he thought were intruders.”
As for the NYPD, she said, “I want them to do their job and to make sure that they’re held accountable.”
The cops involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative duty.