UPDATE: Armed man shot dead by police had been robbed Thursday

Schenectady police fatally shot a man this afternoon who they says was armed and possibly looking fo

Schenectady police fatally shot a man this afternoon who they says was armed and possibly looking for retribution.

Luis Rivera, 32, most recently of Albany, was robbed and punched last night on Hamilton Hill, according to city Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett. He refused to cooperate with police when neighbors who saw the assault called 911, Bennett said.

But today, he showed a gun to at least two people as he walked through the Hamilton Hill-Vale neighborhoods. A third person who saw the gun called police, Bennett said.

Police quickly found Rivera as he crossed State Street near Grove Place, just a block above downtown. Police Sgt. William Fennell parked on the wrong side of the road, leapt out of his vehicle and grabbed Rivera by the shirt about 4:30 p.m.

“He broke away from Sgt. Fennell,” Bennett said.

Then, Bennett said, Rivera lifted his shirt and put his hand in a pocket where Fennell had seen the gun.

Fennell shouted to him to get down, Bennett said, repeating the command three times as two patrol officers hurried to the scene. But Rivera took a few steps away and turned, Bennett said, and with the gun in his hand, he motioned at the officers.

“They saw the gun and fired,” Bennett said.

The officers fired 14 shots, Bennett said, then tried to keep Rivera alive as Mohawk Ambulance and Schenectady Fire Department paramedics raced to the scene. Rivera was so badly injured that police began to set up a landing zone on Nott Terrace for a medical helicopter, Bennett said, but he could not be stabilized enough for the flight, so paramedics took him to Ellis Hospital as they performed CPR.

He died at the hospital.

Police almost immediately began an investigation into the shooting. Fennell and officers Michael Wood and Kevin Rayball were placed on paid leave with counseling after being interviewed. Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney and Assistant District Attorney Philip Mueller spent the evening at police headquarters observing that work.

Carney would not comment on whether the officers had acted correctly, but said the investigation thus far appeared to be proceeding “fairly.” He said cameras and microphones in both police cars appeared to substantiate the officers’ description of the incident.

Police are canvassing businesses in search of security cameras that may have captured the incident and are asking all witnesses — including people who were driving by — to call the police department and describe what they saw.

Check back with dailygazette.com for more information as it becomes available or see Saturday’s edition of The Daily Gazette.

Categories: Schenectady County

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