Home / #BlackLivesMatter / NYPD Fatally Shoots Man In Queens, Claims He Reached For Gun But Eyewitness Accounts Claim Otherwise
A police investigation at 135th Street and 116th Avenue in Queens. A man was shot near the corner around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday
Credit: Nicole Craine for The New York Times
A police investigation at 135th Street and 116th Avenue in Queens. A man was shot near the corner around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday Credit: Nicole Craine for The New York Times

NYPD Fatally Shoots Man In Queens, Claims He Reached For Gun But Eyewitness Accounts Claim Otherwise

Eyewitness says police gave no warning and fired on George Tillman within 30 seconds of approaching

A police officer recovered a .40-caliber Hi-Point handgun Sunday from the crime scene in the South Ozone Park area of Queens. PHOTO: PETER J. SMITH FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
A police officer recovered a .40-caliber Hi-Point handgun Sunday from the crime scene in the South Ozone Park area of Queens. PHOTO: PETER J. SMITH FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

A 32 year old Maryland male electrician was shot and killed early Sunday morning in Queens, NY after NYPD officers say he reached for his gun while being chased.

Around 1:30 AM, two plainclothes officers approached the victim, 32-year-old George Tillman, as he stood beside his utility vehicle following a family party in the South Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens. His wife and a friend were with him in the car.

Police say that they approached the vehicle after seeing Mr. Tillman holding an open bottle of alcohol, and as they got closer subsequently noticed a firearm near his waistband. As Mr. Tillman ran, the two officers pursued him on foot, giving “verbal commands” to stop.

Soon after, near the corner of 135th Street and 116th Avenue, three more officers in an unmarked car cornered him.

At this point, the officers insist that Mr. Tillman reached for his gun, and four officers immediately fired, hitting him several times in his torso.

An official statement from the NYPD declined to answer questions or provide additional insight into what exactly the officers told Mr. Tillman, how quickly their weapons were discharged, or how many times he was shot, simply adding that the investigation is “ongoing.”

Eyewitnesses are immediately disputing the NYPD’s account of what happened.

The friend who was with Mr. Tillman at the time of his death spoke to the NY Times on condition of anonymity due to an unrelated police matter, saying that Mr. Tillman was not holding the open bottle of alcohol and that just thirty seconds passed between the police approaching and subsequently firing.

“I felt like I was in a movie,” he said. “It was unreal and it happened so fast,” adding that he heard a “gut-wrenching yell from Mr. Tillman’s wife who ran towards her husband bleeding in the street.

“She was screaming, ‘Oh no, please, please God no,'” the friend said.

Mr. Tillman was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. The officers were not hurt but they were taken for psychiatric evaluation to Long Island Jewish Medical Center. All officers were assigned to the 106th Precinct.

Civil Rights activists have immediately responded to the NYPD’s official recounting of what happened with enormous skepticism.

About Adam Ciminello

Entrepreneurship, Social Justice, and the idea of Bono never performing again are all things that excite me. And yes, my grandma is cooler than yours. Say hi sometime on twitter @Aciminello

Check Also

Credit: Bossip.com

AirbnbWhileBlack: NC Host Rejects And Harasses Black Businesswoman, Says “I Hate N***ers So I’m Going To Cancel’

“This is the south darling, find another place to rest your n***er head.”   Airbnb, …