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Cop: I had to shoot mentally ill woman because she was swinging bat.

“She was too fast for me.’’ NYPD Sgt. Hugh Barry testified Tuesday that he was forced to fatally shoot 66-year-old schizophrenic Deborah Danner because it was either her or him when she suddenly sprang off her bed lunging at him with a bat. “I just see the bat swinging, and that’s when I fired,’’ Barry...
Time: 18:35     Date: 13.02.2018
Metro News: Cop: I had to shoot mentally ill woman because she was swinging bat. NY Post 24 - US News

NYPD Sgt. Hugh Barry testified Tuesday that he was forced to fatally shoot 66-year-old schizophrenic Deborah Danner because it was either her or him when she suddenly sprang off her bed lunging at him with a bat.

“I just see the bat swinging, and that’s when I fired,’’ Barry said, speaking in public for the first time since the October 2016 shooting in The Bronx.

“I’m looking at this bat that can crack me in the head and kill me.”

Barry — who is the first on-duty city cop to face a murder rap since the infamous Bronx shooting of Amadou Diallo in 1999 — spent two and a half hours on the stand recounting the chain of events leading up to Danner’s death.

He said he remembered the call coming in over the police radio for a violent “EDP” — and meeting Danner’s sister in the elevator while riding up to Deborah’s apartment. Another cop had called the sister to come to her sibling’s home after being summoned yet again to try to handle the mentally ill woman.

Barry said that when he got there, another officer was trying to talk down Danner, who was sitting on the bed holding “metal scissors’’ and cutting paper “aggressively.”

“He didn’t seem like he was having much success with her,’’ Barry said of the other cop.

“Let me give it a shot,” he said he told him.

Barry said he then asked Danner to “please put down the scissors and come outside.

“She said, ‘No,’ ” he said.

Barry said he persisted, “We are only here to help you.

“She looked at me, and she held the scissors like this,’’ Barry said, acting out Danner pointing the metal part at him.

“And she said, ‘I am not f–king coming out of the room.’

“She eventually took the scissors and slammed them on the night stand, and she got up and walked to the bedroom door,’’ the police sergeant said.

Barry said he told Danner, “I just want to help you.

“The whole time I am talking to her, I’m thinking about the scissors,” he said. “I was trying to gain her trust. I trying to make a compromise.

“The last thing I wanted is for her to go back in and get the scissors.”

He said he didn’t ask her sister to try to help calm her down because everything happened so fast.

He added that he didn’t taser Danner because he thought he could help her without using any force.

“I just wanted to use my words. I just wanted to speak to her,’’ Barry testified.

But Danner then suddenly ran back into her bedroom and “jumped onto the edge of the bed,’’ he said.

He said he remembered her “out of nowhere grabbing a baseball bat.”

He said he drew his weapon and begged her to drop the bat but Danner refused.

“As she is swinging the bat, that’s when I draw my gun,’’ Barry said.

“I knew that when she was swinging the bat, she was going to hit me in my head.”

He said he fired twice at Danner, striking her both times in the center of her chest, and the bat fell out of her hands. Barry said he then yelled for help from EMS workers.

“I helped them lift her off the bed and put her on the floor,” Barry said. “I wanted her to get medical attention right away.”

Asked if he intended to kill Danner, Barry said, “Absolutely not.”

When pressed whether he wanted to hurt her, the cop replied, “No, I just want her to stop swinging the bat.”

Closing arguments are expected in the case Wednesday.

Barry waived his right to a jury trial. A judge will decide his fate. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the murder charge.

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