New York, NY – A man stabbed two female security guards at a home for the mentally ill before he advanced towards officers with a knife, authorities said (video below).
Cornell Lockhart, 67, was shot and killed during the altercation, police said.
Investigators said Lockhart stabbed two female security guards at the Hughes House – a shelter for the homeless and mentally ill – at approximately 7:45 p.m. on Nov. 13, the New York Daily News reported.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) responded to the call about the assault, and later released bodycam video of the altercation with Lockhart.
Building surveillance video cameras also captured the events that occurred prior to officers’ arrival at the facility, police said.
Bodycam footage from NYPD Officers Shawn Loftus and Nicole Kraus began as they entered the facility and encountered Lockhart, who was holding a knife.
“Shoot me!” he repeatedly yelled.
The officers loudly ordered Lockhart to drop the 4-inch steak knife, but he refused.
“The officers repeated these commands more than 20 times, the armed man did not comply and instead stepped towards the officers with the knife displayed in his right hand,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan said, according to WCBS.
Officers Loftus and Kraus fired a total of nine rounds at Lockhart, WCBS reported.
Lockhart immediately fell forward, landing near a puddle of blood that authorities said was from one of the guards he stabbed, the New York Daily News reported.
Lockhart was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Prior to the officers’ arrival at the facility, Lockhart stabbed 49-year-old security guard Kathy Hope in the chest and arms. He stabbed security guard Michelle Sutton, 29, in the arm.
Both were treated for serious, but non-life-threatening, wounds and have been released from the hospital, WCBS reported.
Hope’s son, Anthony Hope, said his mother is “tough,” but admitted the attack has taken a toll on his family.
“It was rough to get a phone call that your mom has been stabbed — when you expect her to just be at work – really scary,” Anthony said.
Hope described herself to WCBS as “physically and emotionally exhausted.”
The Hughes House provides housing for homeless and mentally ill individuals, according to the New York Daily News. The 55-unit facility is operated by Urban Pathways, a nonprofit organization.
Urban Pathways CEO Frederick Shack said that Lockhart had lived in the building for six years, and that he had a history of mental illness, the New York Daily News reported.
Hannibal Ali, another resident at the Hughes House, claimed that the guards were taunting Lockhart prior to him attacking them, and that he was trying to calm Lockhart when officers arrived, WCBS reported.
Ali said he stood between Lockhart and the officers, but that he backed away from Lockhart as the confrontation ensued.
“Police told him, ‘Sir drop the knife.’ He’s like, ‘No.’ They said, ‘Drop the knife, sir put the knife down.’ They said it three times to him, not no 20 times, three times. I was standing there,” Ali told WCBS. “He did not move forward toward the police. He stood in one place.”
But the officers’ bodycam video footage discounted most of Ali’s claims.
Tasha Carruthers, who lives in the neighborhood, told the New York Daily News that she knew Lockhart as "Pops."
Despite what occurred, Carruthers defended Lockhart.
“I don’t think he could cause any harm. We see him out there asking for change,” she told the New York Daily News. “They didn’t have to shoot. ... He probably was off his meds.”
But Hughes House resident Andrew Sims said Lockhart had a history of animosity towards the shelter's security guards.
“He cursed them out, screamed at them, disrespected them and everything else,” Sims told WCBS.
Officer Loftus is an 11-year veteran of the NYPD, the New York Daily News reported. Officer Kraus has served with the department for one year.
Police and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office are continuing to investigate the incident, WCBS reported.
Watch the officers' altercation with Lockhart below: