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Chief: Man shot by police unarmed, but it was 'justified'

Chief: Man shot by police unarmed, but it was 'justified'

Clifford calls existence of Facebook Live video fortunate

SCHENECTADY — A city man was unarmed but repeatedly told police he had a gun before he was shot by officers Monday morning, City Police Chief Eric Clifford said at a Wednesday news conference.

The shooting happened when Anthony Logan, 23, lunged at police with an unidentified object in his hand, prompting officers to fire multiple shots at the 535 Mumford St. porch where Logan stood. A bystander caught the shooting on Facebook Live.

RELATED: Schenectady police chief's full statement on Mumford Street shooting

Logan suffered two gunshot wounds as a result — one in his shoulder and one in his hip — and continued to be treated for his wounds Wednesday at Albany Medical Center.

The investigation into the incident is continuing, but, while officers found no gun with Logan or elsewhere on the property after the shooting, Clifford said the evidence collected indicates officers conducted themselves properly.

"It is my belief that this shooting is justified," Clifford said.

Clifford said investigators are still trying to determine what Logan had in his hand when officers fired.

Clifford declined to say how many shots officers fired, how many different officers fired or identify them, citing the ongoing investigation.

Work by evidence technicians this week visible from the street suggested at least six visible bullet holes — and possibly two more — and a broken window. The work also appeared to show the shots came from multiple angles consistent with locations of officers at the scene who had guns trained on the house in the Facebook Live video.

RELATED GALLERY: Mumford Street crime scene analysis

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The incident began with an emergency call at 9:50 a.m. for a domestic dispute at 535 Mumford St., Clifford said.

The call indicated the fight was physical and included a woman being choked. Officers arrived and heard a woman screaming for help.

Police sent one two-man car. Those officers asked for additional assistance and more officers responded.

As police surrounded the building, they saw Logan throw a bag from a window into a vacant building next door, Clifford said. 

Inside that bag, officers discovered a loaded sawed-off rifle with ammunition.

Logan then began challenging officers from the second-floor porch, police said. The woman was able to get out of the house.

Logan claimed he had a gun and at times swore he did. He also kept his hand out of view, refusing to comply with officers' orders to show his hands, Clifford said.

He then lunged over the railing in the direction of three officers while holding an unidentified object.

"At this point, officers on the perimeter engaged Mr. Logan to eliminate the threat that he presented," Clifford said. 

Asked about what officers perceived when they fired, Clifford referred to the Facebook Live video and the bystander video operator's reaction. 

On the video, operator Robert van Outlar quickly recounted that he believed the man pulled a "strap," slang for a gun. In an interview with The Gazette later, van Outlar confirmed what he thought he saw was a handgun.

"The narrator on the video speaks volumes as to what most people were probably thinking at that moment," Clifford said.

As for what Logan was doing by making the abrupt and aggressive motion caught on the Facebook Live video, Clifford confirmed that police are looking into multiple possibilities, including suicide-by-cop.

Police are combing through in-car video and audio captured by officers at the scene, officials have said. Investigators are still interviewing witnesses, including police officers, Clifford said.

Clifford called the existence of the Facebook Live video fortunate and something the department is happy to have.

"It reinforces the benefit of having cameras on the streets and possibly on police officers," Clifford said. "It's a piece of evidence that's invaluable."

City police do not have body cameras, but Clifford has expressed interest in the technology.

Though police believe Logan was unarmed when officers fired, it appears Logan's survival will keep the investigation local.
 
A 2-year-old executive order allows the attorney general to step in and investigate confrontations between suspects and police where the suspect is unarmed and dies as a result.

Logan is expected to face charges soon, police said. Police did not identify those counts, but one of the charges is expected to relate to the gun thrown to the next-door building.

The incident could also impact Logan's parole in a 2012 Schenectady attempted gun possession conviction, records show.

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