At around 4:41 p.m. on April 4, Saheed Vassell was shot and killed on the southwest corner of Utica Avenue and Montgomery Street, in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The first police officers on the scene — and the ones who appeared to fire the first shots — were three members of an anti-crime unit dressed in plainclothes and one uniformed officer from another unit. Responding to 911 calls about a man with a gun, they had arrived in a black Chevrolet Impala.
Footage from the moments after the shooting, initially obtained by the Village Voice, shows that at least nine plainclothes officers were on the scene. Several of the plainclothes cops were taking aggressive action to clear the area of onlookers. One of the officers in the video is wearing a hat emblazoned with a large white skull. Another, who pushes his way through the intersection with sirens blaring, wears a shirt with the symbol of the vigilante comic book character, the Punisher.