Police fatally shoot man after he fires weapon outside Manhattan cathedral following Christmas concert

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Police fatally shot a man on Sunday afternoon after he fired a weapon outside a Manhattan cathedral following a Christmas choral concert set on the cathedral’s steps, authorities said.

New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Dermot Shea said the suspect fired “multiple” shots, while a detective, a sergeant and an officer who responded fired about 15 shots. The incident outside Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine began at about 3:45 p.m.

“The defendant at this point is struck at least once in the head and deceased,” Shea said during a press conference. 

“It is by the grace of God today that we don’t have anyone struck,” besides the gunman, he later said.

Shea said the gunman had “a lengthy criminal history” and had two semi-automatic firearms. 

Police recovered a bag believed to be the suspect’s with a full can of gasoline, rope, wire, multiple knives, a Bible and tape, Shea said, adding “We can all surmise the ill intentions.”

The commissioner did not identify the man, saying the police will wait until they have a firm identification.

An NYPD spokesperson said police received multiple 911 calls shortly before 4 p.m. reporting a gunman shooting at the church.

The spokesperson said officers “upon arrival” found a man “discharging a firearm” and returned fire striking the suspect. The alleged shooter is in critical condition at the hospital, and officers were sent to area hospitals for evaluation. 

The shooting began after the 45-minute concert ended and as people began to leave the vicinity, The Associated Press reported. Witnesses reported hearing a series of shots, leading people to run down the street. 

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer confirmed the incident in a tweet, saying that her chief of staff and press secretary attended the concert and were safe. 

“We don’t have a lot of information but our gratitude goes out to first responders,” she posted. 

Tags cathedral Christmas concert church Manhattan New York New York City New York Police Department NYPD Shooting
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