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Man Who Opened Fire at NYC Church Yelled ‘Kill Me’: Police

Police in New York City provided updates from a recent shooting at a local church. In a press conference Sunday evening, Commissioner Dermot Shea of the New York Police Department declined to name the suspect at this point in the investigation, but he reinforced an initial account that the man asked to be killed.

The incident took place at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a massive Episcopal church on Manhattan near Columbia University.

Shea told reporters that the church was hosting an annual event. After Christmas carols ended at about 3:45 p.m., the suspect opened fire by the massive front doors.

Shea credited three officials with heroically confronting the gunman: a police officer at the scene, a community affairs detective from the 26th Precinct, and a sergeant who happened to be at the nearby St. Luke’s Hospital. According to this story, cops fired 15 shots. (Shea said this was preliminary.)

The suspect fired multiple shots, but was struck at least once in the head, and died.

According to Shea, authorities recovered two semiautomatic handguns from the defendant, and they believe he was the owner of a bag recovered from the scene. This bag had a full can of gasoline, rope, wire, multiple knifes, a Bible, and tape, he said.

No other injuries were reported.

Shea declined to name the suspect, saying police only had a tentative ID at this time. He said that they have a name, and this individual had a “lengthy criminal history.” They must check his fingerprints before announcing the identification, he said.

The motive is unknown at this time, he said.

“We have multiple witnesses that were in the scene of the shots fired,” he said. “Multiple witnesses are telling our detectives that he was yelling, ‘Kill me.'”

[Screengrab via NYC Media]

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