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Does 'fourth' man really exist in deadly NYPD shooting?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Family and attorney of two men wounded in the deadly cop shooting, are dismissing the theory of a fourth man seen running from Sean Bell's car. Earlier this morning, police raided a housing project in Queens, looking for that man apparently linked to the shooting.

Investigators believe the mystery man can shed light on what led to the shooting. But just before the noon, the lawyer for Joseph Guzman and Trent spoke out. He emerged from the hospital declaring the reports a myth.

Sandford Rubenstein, Attorney: "I want to set the record straight in regard to one important fact. We've spoken with both victims who lay hospitalized riddled with bullets...there were three people in the car, period, end of story. The concept of a fourth person is a myth, it's been created by whoever...there were only three men in the car, period, end of story."

Joseph Guzman's fiancee says if there was a fourth man he would have been bionic to have escaped so many bullets.

Eyewitness News will have more on this developing starting tonight at 5:00 p.m.

  • Exclusive details on the 911 ballistic calls

    Officials say two witnesses picked that mysterious fourth man out of two separate photo lineups. And while police look for him and another witness, the officers who opened fire on Bell have been meeting with their attorneys. One officer sped away from the meeting crouched down in the backseat of a car.

    The hours-long session was held in Lower Manhattan. It included Detective Mike Oliver, the man who fired 31 shots outside the "Kalua" cabaret. And detective Paul Hedley, who fired once.

    The officers say they're ready to meet with Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. He has a grand jury ready to begin hearing testimony, as early as today.

    Police ballistics experts are still working the Jamaica shooting scene.

    So far:

  • They have found 41 discharged 9 mm shell casings
  • 14 deformed bullets
  • One deformed bullet was recovered from the nearby air-train terminal.
  • Also found, an empty ten-shot magazine.

    Bell's front seat passenger, Joseph Guzman, was shot 19 times.

    In his first public statement Guzman says, police "tried to kill me." But the head of the detectives union says the officers were justified in firing.

    Michael Palladino, Detectives' Endowment Association: "I do not think the amount of shots were excessive because there was deadly physical force used against our detectives and the detectives used deadly physical force back. They continued to fire until the threat against them ceased."

    But with Bell's funeral set for tomorrow, protests and vigils could turn into a shopping boycott. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton pledge to keep the pressure up on city officials.

    "This is not right, it's not fair, it's not just," Jackson said. "Our civil obligation is to stand up and fight back."

    Rev. Al Sharpton: "Business will not go on as usual in New York. We're going shopping for justice, while folks are shopping for the holidays."

    Gov. George Pataki and Governor-Elect Eliot Spitzer weighed in on the shooting, with both politicians saying they believed the shooting was excessive.

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