By Mark Hallum
Police from the 106th Precinct’s Special Conditions Unit shot and killed a man who reached for a pistol carried in his waistband during a foot pursuit, the NYPD said.
The incident took place in Ozone Park at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, when two plainclothes officers approached the suspect in a routine quality-of-life stop.
George Tillman, the 32-year-old suspect, was standing next to his double-parked sport utility vehicle with an open container of alcohol when the police pulled up in an unmarked car, police said. Officers could see the butt of the .40-caliber Hi-Point pistol sticking out of his waistband. That is when the suspect made a run for it, ignoring all “verbal commands,” according to police.
Three additional officers on 135th Street and 116th Avenue joined in the pursuit. It was at this point that Tillman made a move for his gun, the police said. Four officers opened fire, hitting the suspect several times in the torso.
A police spokesman said the suspect was shot “multiple times,” but did not elaborate. The investigation was ongoing.
Tillman was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The officers, whose names were not released, were all assigned to the 106th Precinct. They were taken to Long Island Jewish Medical Center for evaluation despite the fact that all were unharmed in the shooting.
A friend of Tillman who identified himself as J. Washington said Tillman was newly married and was raising five kids, three of them his own.
“Life was just starting to go good for him,” he told The New York Times.
Tillman’s uncle, Barry Wilson, was shocked to hear that his nephew was carrying a gun.
“I was at the front door when I heard the commotion and someone came running over to me and told me my nephew got shot and that he’s dead,” Wilson told the New York Post.
Tillman was in town from Maryland visiting family. Police said the pistol he carried was recovered from the scene, regardless of sources for the New York Post who claimed he was unarmed.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall