Rafael Laureano, 51, who owned Spartan Health Club (1166 Coney Island Avenue), died when he was hit by a bullet from police officers who were firing at a knife-wielding man who had attacked Laureano and his girlfriend at an Ocean Parkway apartment Monday night, the city medical examiner said.
The city medical examiner’s office told us that Laureano died from a “perforating gunshot wound of the back.”
Katarzyna Russo had been with her two young children at her apartment at 820 Ocean Parkway when Francisco Carvajal, 47, reportedly showed up to the home around 7:20pm and began threatening her, pushing his way into her apartment with a knife, according to the NYPD and other published reports.
The New York Times reported that Russo called Laureano for help, and Laureano fought with Carvajal, who was armed with two knives, while Russo locked herself and her two children in the bathroom for safety.
When police arrived, after responding to a 911 call about a woman being attacked by a knife, they encountered both Carvajal and Laureano, the NYPD said. Three officers opened fire on Carvajal after he wouldn’t drop his weapon and began rushing at them, the Daily News reported.
“After ordering the suspect to drop the knife multiple times, police discharged their firearms, striking the armed individual,” the NYPD said in a statement to the media. “The 47-year-old male was pronounced DOA at the scene.”
Police fired a total of 18 bullets, hitting Carvajal nine times, the Daily News said. During the hail of gunfire, Laureano was also hit.
“It appears (Laureano) was inadvertently shot by a police bullet,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis told the Daily News. “It was very close quarters. (Carvajal) was coming at the officers with a knife and they had to fire.”
Our thoughts go out to Laureano’s family and friends.