After the rookie officer entered a darkened stairwell in the Louis H. Pink Houses with his gun drawn, the officers have said there was an accidental discharge, a ricocheting bullet hit Gurley, 28, in the chest. Gurley’s female companion ran for help and called 9/11. Because the two officers were known to be in the area, dispatch tried to contact them to respond. For six and a half minutes they were out of communication before finally making a radio call for help.
To make matters worse, the two officers didn’t know the exact address and they had been explicitly instructed not to patrol the stairwells in an exercise known as “verticals.” The head officer of the local housing command, Deputy Inspector Miguel Iglesias, had specified that any officer who enters a building should go no further than the lobby. Insiders say that the shooting could be construed as an accident, but the subsequent response may be considered a criminal liability.
Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson has expressed feeling troubled by the shooting and says there will be “an immediate, fair and thorough investigation.” Thompson is supposed to present evidence to a grand jury “as early as the end of this month.”
(Photo: Brian Blakely)