ST. ALBANS, Queens (PIX11) — Some Queens residents, rattled by gunfire between police and a neighbor, questioned the NYPD’s use of force in a Saturday shooting that left a man dead.
Raul Hardy threatened Gov. Kathy Hochul, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell and other elected officials in a Saturday 911 call, police said. He told police that if they came to his home, he would “blow the head off of the first officers he saw,” NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said.
When officers arrived, there was a short verbal exchange, Maddrey said. Hardy refused officers’ commands to put his hands up and stop moving. He also pointed a gun at police, officials said.
“The officers had their firearms drawn already and they exchanged gunshots,” Maddrey said. “The male fired several rounds at the officers, and at least six members of the 113th Precinct fired their guns as well.”
More than 100 rounds were exchanged. Bullets hit the home next door. Some went through windows.
Herman Epps was caring for a woman next door when the shooting happened. He heard the noise and ran outside to see what was happening.
“I think they need to change their strategy when it comes to confronting people,” Epps said. “How many people does it take to stop one person? It doesn’t take, like, a whole battalion.”
A gunshot hit Elena Caraballo’s house. She said the shooting was traumatizing.
“I’m next door, so a stray bullet could have come through very easily,” Caraballo said.
Mayor Eric Adams said police were justified in the shooting. He thanked the police involved. None of the officers were hurt.
“These officers responded to save the people that live in that community,” Adams said.
Police officers responding to 911 calls don’t have access to mental health information on people. They need to work with the information in front of them.
“They took appropriate action based on what they are trained to do,” he said.
The NYPD’s Force Investigation Division will look into the Saturday shooting.