NYPD Confirms Shot Was Fired in Columbia Building

Police say officer accidentally fired shot while using flashlight on gun
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2024 5:37 AM CDT
NYPD Confirms Shot Was Fired in Columbia Building
NYPD officers stand outside Columbia University's Hamilton Hall.   (Seyma Bayram via AP)

The NYPD has confirmed that a rumor circulating among Columbia University students is true. A police spokesperson told the City on Thursday that an officer fired a shot when police stormed a campus building occupied by student protesters Tuesday night. The spokesperson said the officer was using a flashlight on his firearm to illuminate a barricaded area in Hamilton Hall when he accidentally fired a shot. The NYPD said the bullet hit a frame in a wall a few feet away and nobody was injured, the New York Times reports.

Police said officers were the only people "in sight or sound" of the shot, per the New York Daily News. Douglas Cohen, a spokesperson for Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg's office, said the incident is being investigated by the office's Police Accountability Unit, reports the New York Post. "It is our policy to review such incidents," he said. Body camera footage has been turned over to the DA's office. The City reports that word of the shooting spread among students quickly Tuesday night, when the Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine group posted a video on X of an officer texting, "Thought we f------ shot someone." (More 2024 campus protests stories.)

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