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Police shoot knife-wielding man near Times Square

From Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley, CNN
updated 5:49 PM EDT, Sun August 12, 2012
  • Police shoot man who wielded knife near Times Square
  • Incident covered several blocks along Seventh Avenue
  • Area is popular with shoppers, tourists

New York (CNN) -- A man who allegedly threatened police officers with a knife was shot and fatally wounded Saturday afternoon near Times Square in Manhattan, authorities said.

The 3 p.m. incident, which occurred in an area popular with shoppers and tourists, began when officers approached a man because he was smoking what appeared to be a "marijuana cigarette," said Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne.

The man, 51, became agitated and brandished a knife, which had a 6-inch blade, near Seventh Avenue and 44th Street, said Browne.

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Additional officers responded and pepper-sprayed the man six times, to no effect, when he menaced police with the knife and refused to drop it, according to Browne.

"He advanced on uniformed officers, refusing officers' repeated commands to drop his weapon," the deputy commissioner said.

The man was shot at Seventh Avenue between 37th and 38th streets by two officers after he refused to drop his weapon, according to police.

The unidentified individual was transported to the hospital, where he died.

It remained unclear Saturday evening whether the suspect injured any pedestrians prior to being shot. Three officers were treated for ringing in the ears, presumably from the sound of the gunshots.

Browne said the officers involved in the shooting will be on required administrative duty while the incident is reviewed.

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CNN's Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.