A photo of Kurt Doerbecker from the Queens College baseball...

A photo of Kurt Doerbecker from the Queens College baseball website. Credit: Handout

A Point Lookout man suspected in a burglary was shot to death by a Nassau police officer early Tuesday in his backyard after charging at officers with a foot-long knife, authorities said.

Kurt Doerbecker, 23, was shot "more than once" after he advanced on the officer "in a threatening manner" and refused an order to drop the knife, said department spokesman Det. Lt. Kevin Smith.

The slain man's father, Al Doerbecker, who was inside the Bayside Drive home at the time of the shooting, said officers were "dressed for heavy combat" and used excessive force.

"They scared him half to death," he said.

Smith, who said officers recovered the knife, defended the shooting, which occurred about 1 a.m. in the northeast corner of Point Lookout near Reynolds Channel and Jones Inlet. Officers have the right under state law to use deadly force against someone who is endangering their lives or that of another, Smith said.

Shortly before the shooting, Smith said, a 911 call had brought officers to nearby Lynbrook Avenue to investigate a burglary. A woman at a home there said a man entered armed with what she described as possibly a screwdriver. She told the man to leave and eventually he ran out, Smith said.

She said the man was wearing jeans and camouflage. Earlier in the evening, police had been called to the Buoy Bar just down the block from Kurt Doerbecker's home and the Lynbrook Avenue residence. Kurt Doerbecker, who witnesses said was wearing jeans and camouflage, had been ejected for creating a disturbance and continually coming back, Smith said.

Responding officers learned Doerbecker lived nearby and matched witnesses' description. They went to the Bayside Drive home where, Smith said, Kurt Doerbecker refused to talk to police before officers surrounded the home.

The man was shot after climbing out a window in the rear of the house and charging officers in the backyard, Smith said, adding that the officer who fired his weapon is assigned to the Fourth Precinct and has been on the force since 2007. Smith did not name the officer.

Al Doerbecker said his son, a member of the Queens College baseball team in 2010, was asleep when an officer knocked on the front door. The father tried to persuade his son to talk to police, but his son declined.

The next thing he knew, Al Doerbecker said, "there was an entire SWAT team in front of my house . . . They shot him . . . Seems to me that's a little excessive . . . Even if he did have a knife."

This is the second shooting involving Nassau police in two days. On Monday, police shot and wounded a Hempstead man. He remained hospitalized Tuesday.

With James T. Madore

Latest videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months