Three police officers who shot and killed a man in a Germantown playground in April were cleared of wrongdoing yesterday by the District Attorney's Office.
D.A. Seth Williams described the shooting as "justified."
Vincent Parsons, 26, was killed police said, after he fired first at the police, who had chased him into the Happy Hollow Playground about noon on Good Friday.
"After a lengthy and careful review of the facts in this case, I concluded that the three officers acted properly in this situation," Williams said in a statement.
The gunfire provoked anger among neighborhood residents, who said that as many as 20 to 30 shots rang out at the playground, on Wayne Avenue near Wyneva Street. And because school was closed for Good Friday, a number of children were in the playground as the shooting began, neighbors said.
The Daily News reported in May that sources in the Medical Examiner's Office said Parsons had been hit by at least 13 bullets.
Tasha Jamerson, D.A. spokeswoman, said three of four officers who chased Parsons into the playground had fired their weapons.
The three are James Allen, Oronde Watson and Bryan Outterbridge. They, along with a fourth officer, Leonard Wright, were on duty and in plainclothes when they approached Parsons on the front porch of a house on Clapier Street, near Wayne, a few blocks from the playground.
The D.A. said the officers first believed that Parsons was his brother Steven, who was wanted on a bench warrant for gun violations.
According to the report, when the officers approached Vincent Parsons, they identified themselves as police, but Parsons ran and fled to the playground.
Wright and Allen chased him on foot and Allen saw a gun, later identified as a 9 mm Ruger semiautomatic pistol, in Parsons' hand. Watson and Outterbridge followed in an unmarked car and drove the car into the playground.
Jamerson said that it was Parsons who fired at police first and that the officers told everyone in the park to get out of the way.
Police later found ammunition, body armor and drug paraphernalia at the Clapier Street house.
The D.A. said Parsons, of Belfield Avenue near Upsal Street, also had an outstanding warrant for firearms violations at the time.
Sultan Ashley-Shah, head of a citizens group called Citizens United, Warriors for Justice, which filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department about several police shootings of civilians, said yesterday:
"I'm very saddened at D.A. Williams's office for rendering that decision.