Family and friends of Saheed Vassell, a black man who was shot dead by police in Brooklyn on Wednesday afternoon after they mistakenly believed he was carrying a gun, have expressed their anger at his killing. Vassell, 34, was reportedly holding a metal pipe and, according to police, “took a two-handed shooting stance and pointed an object at the approaching officers." Four New York Police Department officers then fired 10 shots at Vassell, killing him. “He lives in the church. He lives in the church. He never had a gun!” a woman identified as Vassell’s aunt told reporters. “He’s a good kid. They killed him for no reason,” added one of his cousins. Vassell’s father, Eric Vassell, told The New York Times his son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and police said he had been classified as an emotionally disturbed person in previous encounters. Vassell lived with his family in a Crown Heights apartment and had a 15-year-old son.
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