NYPD sergeant facing charges in fatal shooting of woman in the Bronx

Front cover of Daily News

Front cover of Daily News

A New York City police sergeant was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on Wednesday for the fatal shooting of a 66-year-old mentally ill woman in her apartment last year.

The charges come almost six months after the Bronx District Attorney said a grand jury would be called to investigate Danner's death.

Barry is due to appear in the Bronx Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon to face the charges, according to Melanie Dostis, a spokeswoman for the Bronx district attorney's office.

The NYPD was called about an "emotionally disturbed person" inside a seventh-floor apartment on Pugsley Avenue and encountered the woman holding scissors in a bedroom, police said past year. The police said that Danner was shot to death after she threatened Barry with a pair of scissors and then a baseball bat.

Top city officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O'Neill, condemned the shooting at the time.

Prosecutors said at Barry's arraignment they have a "strong case" for the murder charge.

Barry was charged with murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. "This is an absolute disgrace", Mullins said in an emailed statement. He added Barry shouldn't have approached Danner without the support of officers specially trained to handle such situations. "Period." de Blasio said at the time.

De Blasio told reporters a year ago that Danner was mentally ill, according to her sister, and that the police had previously been called to her apartment several times and taken her to the hospital without harm. "That's not how we train, our first obligation is to preserve life", said O'Neill a day after the shooting.

Barry found Danner, 66, clutching scissors in a bedroom, according to the original police account.

Danner's shooting sparked protests and a rebuke from the mayor. "I firmly believe, in the weeks and months ahead, that you will see Sergeant Barry acquitted of all charges".

Deborah Danner was shot and killed on October 19, 2016. Barry is a second-generation police officer who has spent eight years on the force.

Civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton called the arrest "a good step in a long walk toward justice", while Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said it marked progress in "addressing an issue that has been long neglected, and that is how to deal with our mentally ill residents in volatile situations".

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