By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — He opened fire on police — and police fired back with calm, reassuring words.
An unhinged Bronx man fired five shots at police through his apartment door as cops hiding behind ballistic shields tried to talk the gunman down during an hour-long standoff, newly released body camera video reveals.
A 911 caller reporting a man with a gun was acting erratically, brought police to the second-floor apartment on W. 183rd St. in University Heights about 10:30 a.m. Feb. 2.
When Emergency Services Unit officers removed the peephole from Samuel Foster’s apartment door so they could look inside he leveled a gun at the hole they made and opened fire, the video shows.
Ducking behind a ballistic shield, cops ordered curious residents on the upper floors not to come down the stairs.
The officers didn’t fire back and instead tried to talk Foster, 39, into surrendering.
“Dude, we’re just trying to talk to you,” one cop says. “What is going on today? We’re trying to get you to an ambulance.”
“What can I do for you to put the gun down and talk to us?” another cop asks.
Foster fired five shots out his peephole. Three hit the ballistic shield, one hit a hallway wall and one went into a neighboring apartment, police said.
Foster started a fire in his apartment and then fled out the fire escape, where he was ultimately caught.
He was charged with attempted murder and reckless endangerment and taken to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric treatment, police said.
“Even after being shot at, @NYPDSpecialops #ESU tried to deescalate the situation for over an hour,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted. “It’s only thanks to their training & restraint that this didn’t have a very different outcome.”
NEXT: Realistic law enforcement de-escalation: Learning from the mental health profession
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