Brian Astarita (2021)

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62 Precinct Officer Involved Shooting

On November 11, 2021, New York City New York Police Department Officer Theresa Haley pulled Astarita over for driving 71 mph in a 50 mph zone. Haley asked for Astarita's driver's license, which he said was suspended before driving away. Haley pursued Astarita, and was joined by Officer Matthew Mellas. The officers were able to stop Astarita, who exited his vehicle holding what the officers believed was a handgun. When Astarita pointed the handgun at officers, they fired. Officers called an ambulance and rendered aid. Astarita was pronounced dead at the hospital.[1]

The incident was captured on body-worn cameras, in-vehicle cameras, and witnesses' cell phones.[1]

On February 24, 2023, the state's Attorney General's Office declined to press charges against the officers as it would not be able to prove the use of excessive force "beyond a reasonable doubt".[1][2]

The handgun was later determined to be an air pistol, which was not visibly different from a traditional handgun.[1]

Officers Involved

Official Reports

Additional Sources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Samantha Max, No charges against NYPD officers who shot a man with a BB gun during Brooklyn car stop, Gothamist, 2023-02-27
  2. Report on the Investigation into the Death of Brian Astarita, Office of the New York State Attorney General, 2023-02-24