Peter Liang, 27, the NYPD police officer who shot and killed Akai Gurley, has been found guilty of manslaughter, with lesser included charges of assault, reckless endangerment, criminally negligent homicide and official misconduct, CNN reports.
Jurors deliberated Thursday morning, through a one-hour lunch break and into the evening.
He faces up to 15 years in prison.
Hurley was unarmed on a dark stairwell in the Louis Pink Houses, a project development in East New York, when Liang, a rookie on force opened fired because he was nervous.
— Advancement Project (@adv_project) February 12, 2016
Read more from the New York Daily News:
Gurley had opted to take the stairs from the seventh floor because the elevator was not working in the Pink Houses yet again.
The father of a 2-year-old girl and his friend, Melissa Butler, walked into an unlit stairwell. The poor lighting was another common, documented complaint from residents in the NYCHA building.
One floor above, Liang and his partner, Shaun Landau, were just beginning a so-called vertical patrol in which they walked the stairs and checked out the roof – common areas for crime to occur.
Liang, who cried on the stand, testified that his finger was on the side of his drawn pistol as he entered the stairwell.
“I heard something on my left side…It startled me (then) the gun just went off,” Liang testified during the trial.
The bullet ricocheted off a wall and hit Gurley in the chest.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 12, 2016
Instead of offering assistance to Gurley as he lay dying, Liang panicked and delayed calling in his “mistake” over the radio, instead calling his commanding officer’s cell phone.
“I was panicking. I was shocked,” Liang testified.
Gurley was 28 years old, and leaves behind a young daughter.
Liang, who is Asian American, is scheduled to be sentenced on April 14.
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