New York police shot and killed an armed Vincentian man who relatives said was protecting his Brooklyn home from burglars, on the night of Jan. 12.
Relatives said Duane Browne, 26, whose father is from Vermont and mother from Buccament Bay, was gunned down at 943 Schenck Ave. in the East New York section of Brooklyn, New York, just before 11 p.m.
Relatives said he was defending his home from the robbery.
“They just shot Duane in his pajamas,” Browne’s girlfriend, Renita Ferdinand, 27, told reporters in New York, adding that the cops were insensitive after the shooting.
“They sat there and let him bleed to death, asking him questions like, does he live there?” she added. “When ‘D’ came back upstairs, he had a bullet in him. He told me, ‘I got shot. Call the cops.’
“He didn’t say who. He fell and the eyes 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,” she continued.
Police respond to call
Police said they received a 911 call about two masked men with guns at the address.
But when police arrived at the scene, police said the woman who made the call reportedly told cops “they have guns.”
The boyfriend, who was allegedly assaulted, then ran out of the house and was briefly taken into police custody.
“Moments later, at approximately 10:50 p.m., a second male emerged from the back door with a 38-caliber revolver in his hand,” New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters.
“He failed to comply with one of the officer’s directions not to move and was shot once in the chest,” he admitted.
Police said Browne was taken to the nearby Brookdale University Hospital, where he died.
“Shoot for the arm, don’t shoot to kill,” said Browne’s brother, Nolan Donovan. “These are people’s fathers. We are not animals. We work, we have family.”
Browne, who had a 7-year-old son, Dasani, earned an associate’s degree for a pharmacy program and was working as a floor installer, his relatives said.
Browne’s relatives said they were not allowed back in the home the next day.
“You kill my kid and take over my house?” said Browne’s mother, Alice Bynoe-Browne. “What’s wrong with this picture?”
Councilman joins condemnation
New York City Councilman Charles Barron, who represents the area and is a frequent critic of the NYPD, lashed out against the cops.
“This is ridiculous. You’re investigating the robbery of a house and guys are running away. Why would you not chase them?” he said.
“He’s coming down in his pajamas. He clearly can’t be the robber,” he added, referring to the victim.
“We want the truth. Tell the truth of what happened,” continued Barron, intimating that cops may be withholding crucial information.
Some reports indicated that Browne had pointed his unlicensed gun at cops.
“They’re trying to cover something up because they stay too long in that house,” said Browne’s mother. “They’ve been there for hours trying to cover up what they want to cover up.
“Tell them to turn the hands of time back. Take the house. Take my car. Take everything. Just give me my son, and I’ll be happy,” Mrs. Bynoe-Browne said.
Police said Duane Browne had a lengthy criminal record.
The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau said the officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative duty while the investigation continues.