A New York Woman was killed on her own stoop on Labor Day after a shootout erupted nearby between the police and an ex-con, and some believe the officers inadvertently fired the fatal shot.
According to the Associated Press, authorities said Brooklyn resident Denise Gay was sitting on her stoop in Crown Heights Sept. 5 when LeRoy Webster exited a building two doors down and opened fired on a man walking outside. Brooklyn police, who were patrolling the nearby West Indian Festival, responded immediately and exchanged fire with the gunman. Gay was hit by a stray bullet and died instantly.
Police eventually struck Webster down, but two officers suffered injuries and were later taken to nearby hospitals.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference on the incident the following day.
“It was a senseless murder, and another painful reminder I think of what happens when elected officials in Washington fail to take the problem of illegal guns seriously,” he said in a statement. “It is a matter of life and death, and in this case the death was an innocent New Yorker.”
Bloomberg claimed Gay was hit by a bullet fired by Webster, but ballistic reports later found that to be untrue.
While the NYPD hasn’t said whether the bullet came from a police weapon, a spokesman for the department told The New York Post that it had distinctive markings that are “consistent” with the Glock handguns used by two of the eight officers who fired at Webster.
Gay’s daugher Tashmaya, who was sitting with her mother when she was killed, said she was sure the police were responsible.
“It was the cops,” she told the Post. “My mother got hit by a bullet that wasn’t even meant for her. Just for sitting on her stoop.”
The tragic incident was one of many violent gun crimes that took place throughout the city over Labor Day weekend. Authorities said that, between 12 a.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Monday, a total of 67 people were hit by gunfire.