A man brandishing a six-inch knife near Times Square was gunned down in a hail of bullets yesterday, reports the New York Daily News. The unidentified 51-year-old man was approached by police because he appeared to be smoking pot in public, reports the New York Times, and responded by putting the joint in his pocket, putting on a bandana, and raising his knife. “He looked like he was crazy,” said a witness. “They sprayed him, and he kept going backwards."
The police ordered the man to put down the knife, but he ran, darting between cars and threatening people with the blade. After being repeatedly pepper sprayed, apparently to no effect, police shot the man when he lunged at them with the knife. Witnesses said the man was shot at least five times, and 15 shell casing were counted on the ground where the police opened fire.