NEW YORK (AP) — A man became belligerent as he tried to buy beer at a grocery store in the city’s Theater District on Wednesday, pulled out an 8-inch knife that he refused to drop and was shot to death by police on a busy tourist-filled street, authorities said.
A woman standing nearby suffered a graze wound on her arm. An officer also was injured, and both were hospitalized.
The man, Garry Conrad Jr., became “aggressive and belligerent” inside a Food Emporium, swearing at people while he tried to buy beer and fighting with the cashier, police Chief James O’Neill said. An officer on foot patrol responded and took Conrad outside, and they fought on the street, tumbling to the ground just a few hundred feet from Broadway theaters showing “Wicked” and “The Book of Mormon.”
The man got up and pulled out the knife as other officers arrived, O’Neill said.
“The officers ordered the suspect to drop the knife, and he continued to approach them with a knife in his hand,” O’Neill said.
A sergeant and the officer who initially responded fired a total of nine shots, police said.
Authorities said Conrad had been arrested five times and had no history of mental illness.
O’Neill said the investigation was continuing. Police were looking at surveillance video and were interviewing witnesses.
Sharona Shriver, who lives in an apartment building nearby, said she was doing her makeup when she heard the shots and ran to the window. She saw the dead man surrounded by police.
“He was face down with blood pouring out of his head. Looked like it was coming out of his head or upper body,” she said. “A trail of blood.”
Her roommate, Tamar Mendelsohn, said she heard about six shots and when she looked out the window she saw the officer crying. She said she didn’t see a knife.
A Hilton Garden Inn hotel stands at the street corner where the shooting occurred. The area was blocked off. Some guests whose windows overlook the shooting scene took cellphone photos of the man’s body under a cloth.
Associated Press writer Kiley Armstrong contributed to this report.