Inquest into deaths of men killed by police
A woman yesterday recalled how she found a dead man on her lawn shortly after hearing gunshots.
Kriston Knowles was testifying in the coroner’s inquests into the deaths of Kristen Russell, 21, and Philip Armbrister Jr., 19, who were shot dead after they allegedly opened fire on a police patrol unit of Detective Corporal 2609 Arthur, DC 981 Higgs and Local Constable 5026 Miller in Sunset Park on March 31, 2016.
The officers were in pursuit of the armed men in a Nissan Sylphy, registered to Neville Rolle. The men allegedly abandoned the vehicle while shooting in the direction of the police officers, who returned fire.
The officers recovered two firearms — a 9mm and .40-caliber pistol — next to the deceased.
Knowles said that she was in her bedroom on the telephone when she heard “popping sounds” that were too intense to be fireworks.
She estimated that she heard between five to seven gunshots.
Knowles said she sought cover on the floor and did not get up until she heard sirens.
She said, “I got up and looked out the window and saw a police car, so I knew it was safe to get out.”
Knowles said she saw a man she did not know on her lawn.
She recalled that police prevented her from leaving the home as it was considered a crime scene.
The inquest, which is being marshaled by Patrick Sweeting, continues on November 30.
The coroner’s jury does not determine criminal or civil liability.