(198384)

A birthday party turned deadly early Sunday morning, as a 32-year-old man was fatally shot by four NYPD officers in South Ozone Park.

George Tillman was in town from Maryland for the family celebration when he was cornered by the officers around 1:30 a.m. on 135th Street.

According to police, Tillman was approached by two officers in an unmarked vehicle as he stood next to a double-parked SUV. He was seen holding an open bottle of an alcoholic beverage.

As officers approached Tillman, they noticed a gun in his waistband, and this prompted Tillman to take off, leading the officers on a chase.

Tillman continued running as officers pursued him, yelling verbal commands.

As Tillman approached the corner of 135th Street and 116th Avenue he was met with three more officers in a second unmarked vehicle. As he was confronted by all five officers, Tillman reached for the gun in his waistband, police said. The four officers then began to discharge their weapons, striking him several times in the torso.

Tillman, a father of five, was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Police said that they recovered a .40 caliber Hi-Point firearm at the scene, which they said belonged to Tillman.

The shooting occurred just two days before the highly anticipated sentencing of former NYPD officer Peter Liang for the fatal shooting of Akai Gurley in an East New York housing stairwell in November 2014.