A late-night road rage showdown proved deadly for an unarmed motorist and consequential for the off-duty officer who shot him.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is now investigating NYPD officer Wayne Isaacs for the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Delrawn Small, the New York Daily News reports. Isaacs reportedly fired three point-blank shots at Small following an early morning road-rage incident in Brooklyn.
According to the publication, Small’s girlfriend and three children watched in horror as the deadly confrontation unfolded before their eyes.
“Words can’t begin to explain the pain I feel right now,” girlfriend Zaquanna Albert wrote on Facebook. “… My heart aches for this man and my son who will never remember his dad.”
Authorities say the two men were involved in a traffic dispute shortly after midnight when Isaacs, who was driving his personal car, reportedly cut Smalls off. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the officer was likely headed home after his 4 p.m. – midnight shift while Smalls, his girlfriend, and kids were meeting up with family to celebrate Fourth of July weekend.
Once at a stop light, the Sunnyside, Queens resident is said to have exited his vehicle and punched the officer repeatedly through an open driver’s side window, CBS New York reports. Isaacs then pulled out his service weapon and fired multiple shots at Small, killing him.
Per the New York Daily News, surveillance video captured the fatal altercation in its entirety. Police are refusing to release the video.
The attorney general’s office has since issued a search warrant for Isaacs’ car. The Special Investigations and Prosecutions unit is also expected to spearhead the state investigation, according to a statement from NYS Attorney General Spokesman Eric Soufer. As part of the probe, Officer Isaacs will have to justify his use deadly force.
“It’s much, much too early to draw any conclusions at this time,” police commissioner Bratton said. “It is a protocol that our Force Investigation Division will do a very comprehensive initial investigation. We’re gathering a lot of video from the area, cameras that we were able to identify. We have talked with the officer.”
Small’s family held a news conference later Monday demanding a full investigation into the incident, the Associated Press reports.
“My brother was a loving, kind father,” said a friend of Small’s named Keith. “He was out here working trying to provide for his family and he was killed in front of his family by a cop out here out of control.”
According to a source familiar with the state’s investigation, Small’s girlfriend told authorities he had three drinks at a barbecue earlier that day. The New York man was easily angered and brushed her off when she pleaded with him to stay in the car.
Despite footage of the quickly-escalated incident, an eyewitness gave police a differing timeline of events, the New York Daily News reports.
“Delrawn and the cop’s car almost hit each other,” construction worker Lloyd Banks said. “And Delrawn got out of the car and the cop just jumped out and started screaming. He just shot (Small) right there on the street. (He) was unarmed. His (girlfriend) and kids were still in the car. They saw everything.”
According to the news publication, Small had a rap sheet that included 19 arrests and three stints behind bars. Jail records show he finished parole for his latest assault arrest in 2013.
In the case of Officer Isaacs, he was slapped with a lawsuit in 2014 accusing him of false arrest in which the suspect was “punched, kicked and struck several times in the head and body,” the New York Daily News reports.