Heartbroken mom says she begged officers ‘please don’t shoot’ before killing teen son in mental health crisis

The family of Win Rozario says they want the officers responsible for the killing during health check to be fired and prosecuted

Michelle Del Rey
Monday 13 May 2024 19:38
Bodycamera footage of shooting of Win Rozario

The heartbroken mother of a 19-year-old who was killed by New York City Police Department officers during a mental health check says she begged officers to not shoot her son.

Win Rozario was fatally shot during the incident in Queens after repeatedly brandishing a pair of scissors and lunging at the officers inside the family home.

The police was so aggressive and reckless that they could have killed my mom and me too, in our house,” Uthso Rozario, the brother of Rozario, said during a news conference on the steps of New York City’s City Hall.

On 27 March, Officers Matthew Cianfrocco and Salvatore Alongi entered Mr Rozario’s Queens home which he shared with his brother and mother Notan Eva Costa, 48.

Police responded to a mental health check after Rozario called the police himself, telling an emergency dispatcher that he was in distress, according to WABC.

Once the officers arrived at the address, the relatives led them to the kitchen, where the 19-year-old grabbed a pair of scissors and lunged at the officers when he saw them.

Win Rozario, 19, (far left) with his mother Notan Eva Costa and brother Uthso Rozario. The teen was fatally shot by New York Police Department officers in March (Justice Committee)

The police then fired a taser at the man while Rozario’s mother tried to disarm him but was told to step back by the officers.

The woman was able to disarm her son and the officers fired a second taser once she stepped away. This made Rozario angry, the outlet reported.

He grabbed the scissors a second time, lunging at the officers again. The family immediately tried to disarm him but Officer Cianfrocco fired four shots.

The video shows that the man could barely stand when the shots were fired and slumped onto the kitchen floor once he was hit. He was transferred to a nearby hospital, where he died from his injuries.

“In the minutes before they came, everything was calm,” Ms Costa said at the news conference, speaking through a Bengali interpreter. “Then they came and created chaos and murdered him in front of me.”

As the officers got ready to fire, she said she begged them “Please don’t shoot.” Yet, “The police still killed him,” she added.

The New York State Attorney General’s office released the body cam footage from the incident earlier this month. The agency’s Office of Special Investigation is conducting a probe into the matter.

A spokesperson for the NYPD said the department is cooperating with the investigation and its Force Investigation Division has launched a probe as well. The responding officers are on modified assignment, meaning they are currently not carrying a shield or a firearm.

“We continually seek to improve how we respond to requests for assistance, and we acknowledge that there is much work to be done. New Yorkers expect and deserve nothing less.”

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in