Three Brooklyn police officers shot a man Sunday morning who was waving a handgun at pedestrians and motorists as he menaced a neighborhood in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens community, authorities said.
Paul Mathurin, 31, was shot in the hip and rushed to nearby Kings County Hospital, said Deputy Chief Vincent DiDonato of the Brooklyn South division. He said the three officers fired a dozen rounds at the suspect. Mathurin was in stable condition following surgery.
“Two witnesses said that the suspect was waving and showing a gun in a menacing matter,” DiDonato said.
Officers, responding to a ShotSpotter alert of gunshots fired near Lefferts Avenue at Rogers Avenue shortly before 7:30 a.m., arrived as Mathurin was menacing both pedestrians and motorists, DiDonato and Chief Steven Powers, head of the Brooklyn South division, said at a news conference from the shooting scene.
DiDonato said police officers told Mathurin “to stop, but he didn’t.”
He was screaming and yelling at witnesses, approaching vehicles and behaving in an irrational manner, DiDonato said. It was, he said, “Totally irrational, yelling and screaming behavior.”
He said there were three lieutenants and two officers at the scene.
Ellis Lera, 51, the janitor who works at Mathurin’s mother’s building, said the suspect does not live with his mother. “She threw him out of the apartment,” he said, though Mathurin usually was outside the building in the mornings. “This is the first time. . . . He was never violent.”
“I would hear him singing and walking around not bothering anyone,” said Lera.
“I am in pain,” said longtime neighbor and family friend Erna Sargeant. “Paul is respectful. He’s a decent guy. This is so sad. His mother, father and sister are hardworking people.”
Cupid Conrad, 43, who lives on Rogers Avenue near where the shooting occurred, said he woke up after hearing people arguing. “It sounded like two drunk people arguing. I looked out the window and saw the white woman yell, “Please don’t kill him.”
Conrad said the man, Mathurin, who is known in the neighborhood as “Smokey,” ran down the street” as police ordered him to stop. “I was hoping all that time that Texas did not reach here,” Conrad said.
Marcos Gonzalez, 40, who also woke up to the sound of gunshots outside his bedroom, said, “I didn’t know where the shots were coming from, so I hit the floor right next to my bed.”
With Lisa Irizarry