Memorial grows in Crown Heights for man fatally shot by police

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CROWN HEIGHTS -

A memorial continues to grow in Crown Heights for the 34-year-old man killed in a police-involved shooting Wednesday night.

Saheed Vassell was fatally shot after police say he pointed an object at them and other that looked like a gun. The object turned out to be a silver metal pipe. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday that he would investigate the incident.

Protesters rallied at the scene of the shooting on Montgomery Street and Utica Avenue, where tensions increased Friday, leading to an increased police presence. Some NYPD members were stationed on roofs, which some say further reminded residents of the reality of the incident. 

Groups also marched to the 71st Precinct to call for justice for Vassell. His family told News 12 that they were heartbroken, saying Vassell was well-known in the community and was harmless, despite some mental issues.

VIDEO: Vassell's mother speaks to News 12 about her son's shooting

The NYPD says the responding officers thought he had a gun. They released a video Thursday showing a man who they say is Vassell pointing the silver object at people in the streets. It also showed him walking up to someone who was with a young child.

They also released the police transcripts of the 911 calls from people saying they believe an armed man was running through the neighborhood.

When officers got on scene they say Vassell pointed what they thought was a gun at them and they opened fire, striking him several times. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city plans to fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s Office to make sure a thorough investigation is completed.

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