Parents: Coney Island church feels unsafe

Residents expressed concern Friday about the safety of a Coney Island neighborhood where an NYPD officer shot and killed a man outside a church a

BROOKLYN - Residents expressed concern Friday about the safety of a Coney Island neighborhood where an NYPD officer shot and killed a man outside a church a day earlier.

Pastor Connie Hulla, of the Coney Island Gospel Assembly, says Thursday?s incident did not surprise her because of the prevalence of drugs and mental illness in her community.

Authorities say Gilberto Blanco attempted to rob cars in the church parking lot and then attacked Officer Dawn Ortiz with a chair. According to police, Ortiz fired her gun and shot Blanco in the chest. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

Many parents whose children attend a truancy center in the basement of the church worry that the neighborhood is not safe enough for their kids. Hulla says the church would like to install cameras to monitor the outside premises, but it can?t afford them. According to Hulla, the security inside the church is tight and parents shouldn?t worry.

In response to Thursday?s shooting, the Brooklyn district attorney?s office is prioritizing the safety of the area surrounding the church.

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