An unarmed man was accidentally shot and killed by New York City police officers during a clash with a knife-wielding suspect in a Brooklyn apartment this week, the latest in a series of police-related killings that have rocked the country and the city this year.
Rafael Laureano may have been struck by a stray round of gunfire during a domestic violence incident Monday evening after officers opened fire on 51-year-old Francisco Carvajal, who was armed with a knife and refused to drop the weapon when confronted by police, Police Department spokesman Sgt. Lee Jones said.
Laureano died of a gunshot wound to the back, Julie Bolcer, director of public affairs for the city medical examiner's office, told the Los Angeles Times.
Carvajal died of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, according to Bolcer. He died at the scene, while Laureano was pronounced dead at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn a short time later.
Bolcer said both killings have been ruled homicides.
Laureano's girlfriend and her children were in the apartment but were not harmed, police said. Carvajal was the woman's ex-lover, according to Jones. He arrived at the scene armed with two knives and had cornered the women and children in a bathroom, police said.
Jones did not identify any of the officers involved in the shooting, citing the ongoing internal investigation.
Laureano's death is the latest in a series of police killings that have sparked questions in recent months. A grand jury is weighing criminal charges against two NYPD officers involved in the death of Eric Garner, who collapsed after he was placed in a chokehold in July.
The federal government is also reviewing the actions of officers who shot and killed a man carrying an air rilfe in Beavercreek, Ohio, in August, and a grand jury remains active in connection with the killing of Michael Brown, which sparked riots in Ferguson, Mo., this summer.