MOTT HAVEN, the Bronx — The family of the man who was fatally shot during a raid inside a Bronx apartment is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the NYPD.
Mario Sanabria was shot to death by the police officers last December inside his Bronx apartment, and now his family is suing the city for $150 million after police shot the man during a raid at the wrong house.
Police are saying the shooting was justified, while the family is in search of justice.
The 69-year-old was killed during a pre-dawn no-knock raid, after nine officers stormed inside, searching for guns and drugs, but it turns out they raided raided the wrong apartment.
Police told those inside the apartment they executed a search warrant for Daniel for drugs and guns, but no one by that name lived there and no drugs or guns were found.
During the raid, two officers went into a bedroom and were confronted by a male brandishing a machete with a two-foot blade.
As he continued to approach the officers, the lead officer discharged one shot from his firearm.
Police claim Sanabria, an ex-lieutenant in the Honduran army, was wielding a large knife and they fired in self-defense. The officers weren’t wearing body cameras.
The family’s attorney argued the men thought it was a home invasion.
“They believe they’re intruders. They only speak Spanish, but no one’s speaking Spanish to them,” said family attorney Robert Vilensky.
“We need law and order it would be chaos if we didn’t have. A lot of policemen and women believe they’re above the law,” said Sanabria’s nephew.
The NYPD and the city had no comment on the status of its investigation due to the pending lawsuit.