A man who was shot in the leg during a confrontation with Yonkers police Monday afternoon later told investigators he was trying to get them to kill him, police said.
The 24-year-old man claimed he had a gun, police said. However, the object he was holding turned out to be a cell phone and another object fashioned into a "crude imitation pistol," department spokesperson Detective Lt. Dean Politopoulos said Tuesday, and it remains unclear if anyone saw the object before three officers fired upon him.
Police also did not offer further explanation as to what led an officer to be seriously injured in a 10-foot fall.
The major case squad and internal affairs are investigating the incident along with the Westchester District Attorney's Office.
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Police Commissioner John Mueller said he was thankful the 24-year-old's injuries were not life-threatening and that the department was committed to a "thorough and transparent review" of what happened.
"Everyday, police officers in this country respond to thousands of incidents that have the potential for use of deadly force and are called upon to deal with any number of issues, increasingly with people in crisis," he said in a statement. "Upholding the sanctity of life remains paramount."
Police responded to the third-floor hallway of 52 Main St. at around 12:30 p.m. Monday after receiving a 911 call that a man there was threatening people with a gun.
When police reached the top of the stairs, the man shouted he had a gun, police said. At some point, one of the five officers who were there fell to the second-floor landing. Three officers fired at the man, hitting him once in the calf.
The man was taken to the hospital and was in stable condition Tuesday.
Police would not identify him, saying they suspect he was experiencing mental health issues leading up to the incident. The initial call summoning police to the scene came from his cell phone and police on Tuesday said they were trying to confirm whether he made the call.
Politopoulos said the man had no criminal history and there were no records of any prior contact between him and police.
The officer who fell suffered injuries to his head, spine and back and remained in the hospital Tuesday in stable condition. Mueller had said Monday the officer had jumped but Politopoulos said it was unclear how or why he fell.
He had not yet been interviewed by investigators on Tuesday, police said.
Politopoulos would not identify him, saying only that he has been a Yonkers police officer for more than 20 years. He would also not identify the officers who fired their weapons.
This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Yonkers police: Man wanted to be killed by officers; questions remain