NYPD officers fatally shoot colored man waving butcher's knife after terrifying chase through Times Square - Darrius Kennedy was hit by gunfire near 37th and Seventh Avenue around 3p.m., police saidA deranged knife-wielding man was gunned down by police near Times Square Saturday after a bizarre backward chase in broad daylight that sent terrified tourists scrambling for safety.
The dreadlocked madman was fatally shot at 3 p.m. on a Seventh Ave. sidewalk after ignoring orders to drop his 11-inch butcher knife — and then menacingly lunged at cops, police said.
The 51-year-old suspect, identified as Darrius Kennedy, was walking backward for seven blocks with cops in pursuit, appeared impervious to police pepper spray and refused to surrender his blade, witnesses said.
“He looked like he was crazy,” said Jalloh Osman, 26, who joined a crowd of onlookers watching the strange showdown at the corner of W. 37th St. “They sprayed him, and he kept going backwards.
“They kept telling him, ‘Put it down! Put it down!’ But he refused.”
Kennedy died at Bellevue Hospital about 40 minutes after the shooting, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said, adding that six blasts of pepper spray failed to slow the man.
Frightened pedestrians ran for cover into nearby buildings as the man — his knife held aloft like a torch at one point — inexplicably ambled backward for seven blocks, witnesses said.
“He was holding a giant knife,” said Jobby Nogueras, 17. “He was swinging it toward everyone — pedestrians, cops. He would just swing.”
A doorman at a nearby Seventh Ave. building said Kennedy — wearing jeans and a white T-shirt — kept waving the knife in front of him.
Cops ordered him to drop the blade, but he continued on his way — and then the gunshots rang out in quick succession.
“It was mayhem,” the doorman said. “People were running all over the place. About 15 people ran into this building.”
A dramatic video obtained by the Daily News shows Kennedy backstepping away from a horde of cops for several blocks until he’s surrounded — and then officers unleash a torrent of bullets. Browne said two officers opened fire. Witnesses said Kennedy was shot at least five times.
At least 15 shell casings were on the sidewalk outside 501 Seventh Ave., where the cops opened fire.
“He just fell backward, with his arms out,” said Maiki Rodriguez, 20, who works on W. 38th St. “It was crazy. . . . He had bullet holes all over him, and blood all over his shirt.”
The chase began around W. 44th St. after two cops spotted Kennedy smoking what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette, police said.