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The Latest: 911 callers feared man shot by police had gun

April 6, 2018

This photo provided by the New York Police Department shows a metal object at the scene where police officers fatally shot a man who was reported to be threatening people with a gun, which turned out to be a metal pipe that police mistook for a firearm, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Saheed Vassell, 34, was killed Wednesday April 5, 2018, in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. According to The New York Times, police had encountered him before and classified him as emotionally disturbed. (New York Police Department via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the fatal New York City police shooting of a man who was brandishing the head of a welding torch (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Transcripts of 911 calls to the New York Police Department show callers were frightened that a man was menacing people with a gun but also uncertain whether the object really was a gun.

One of the 911 callers Wednesday said, “He’s pointing a silver thing in a lady’s face.” When the dispatcher asked if it was a gun, the caller said, “I don’t know if it’s a gun, ma’am. It seems like a gun. It’s silver.”

Police responding to the calls Wednesday fatally shot Saheed Vassell.

Police said the object Vassell was holding turned out to be the head of a welding torch.

The department released detailed transcripts of three 911 calls Friday.

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8:15 a.m.

New York Police Department officials say the metal object that was mistaken for a gun in a fatal shooting by officers turned out to be the head of a welding torch.

Saheed Vassell’s father has told reporters that his son had previously worked as a welder.

Hundreds of New Yorkers have rallied in protest of the Wednesday night police shooting.

Officers were responding to 911 callers reporting a man pointing a gun at people.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH’-zee-oh) called the shooting a “tragedy” and said Vassell had “a profound mental health problem.”

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