Police kill motorist near NY's LaGuardia Airport
NEW YORK (AP) -- An unarmed motorist who was weaving in and out of traffic on a busy highway near LaGuardia Airport was shot and killed by police before dawn on Thursday after he initially resisted efforts to pull him over, police said.
The car also was carrying two women, one an off-duty police officer who claimed to be asleep in the backseat until the gunfire woke her. Neither was harmed.
What prompted a uniformed police officer to fire one round through the passenger side window once police forced the vehicle to stop wasn't immediately clear. A search failed to turn up any weapons, said New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne.
A passenger sitting next to the victim told investigators that once it was clear police were trying to pull him over, she urged him to slow down and stop.
"Why? I'm not doing anything wrong," he responded, according to the woman.
Once stopped, the woman said she complied with an order to raise her hands, but the driver's hands remained on wheel.
The woman, a bartender who worked with the 22-year-old driver, told police they were on their way home from a late shift at a Queens lounge, Browne said. She also said she had served the victim and the off-duty police officer, a friend of hers, a round of Hennessy at the end of the night.
The shooting occurred at about 5:15 a.m. after police spotted a black 2012 Honda driving erratically on Grand Central Parkway, police said.
An unmarked police van and truck en route to execute a warrant turned on their lights and sirens and used a loud speaker to order the driver to stop.
When the motorist didn't respond, one of the police cars cut him off while another closed in from the rear to box him in and force him to the left shoulder of the highway, Browne said.
Two officers from the car in front exited and approached either side of the Honda. The officer on the passenger side reached the car first and fired one round that hit the driver in the stomach -- a sequence Browne said lasted only a few seconds.
The man was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead about a half-hour later.
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