MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The New York State Attorney General’s office will not be investigating their second case in Mount Vernon this summer, with AG General Schneiderman announcing that Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore will be tasked with investigating the shooting in the city that left one innocent bystander dead.
On Friday, shots rang out at 4 p.m. near the intersection of Beekman Avenue and Pease Street as the NYPD investigated a reported illegal firearms operation in Mount Vernon. During the shootout, 61-year-old victim Felix Kumi was struck by a stray bullet and eventually passed away from his injury at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.
According to spokespeople with the District Attorney’s office, Schneiderman and DiFiore agreed that the investigation should be a county matter. Earlier this summer, Schneiderman stepped in to investigate the death of 42-year-old Raynette Turner , who passed away while in police custody at the Mount Vernon Police Department.
On Monday, Mount Vernon mayoral hopeful Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thomspon called on state and federal elected officials to eliminate gun violence in cities like Mount Vernon.
“I am calling on Gov. Cuomo and our senators in Washington to increase police support to cities like Mount Vernon, Yonkers, Rochester, Albany and Syracuse to help in the fight to eliminate gang and gun violence in our streets. It is clear that despite the committed efforts of the local police, they do not have the resources and manpower to effectively control the possession and use of illegal firearms,” she said.
“Inner city communities are drowning in taxes and cannot afford the financial commitment to stamp out gang and gun violence. I have no wish to create a ‘police state;’ however, the temporary deployment of state troopers from low crime areas to high crime areas could be managed without raising local taxes.”
According to reports, an undercover NYPD officer met with an illegal gun dealer in the Bronx before driving to Mount Vernon and demanding cash. The suspect then made off with an undisclosed amount of money and a chase ensued when officers notified backup crews.
The suspect pointed his weapon at officers and he was struck three times in the abdomen. Kumi, who was standing behind the gunman, suffered his own wounds that he would succumb to while being treated at Jacobi.
“Mr. Kumi was blameless, and this tragedy has tested and tried his family,” NYPD Commissioner William Bratton stated. “I pray that they may find comfort in their hope of resurrection and awakening, and I tender the department’s support and service in their grief.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.