A Bronx sergeant, already blamed by the mayor in the fatal shooting of a schizophrenic senior citizen, was arrested Wednesday for murdering the elderly woman, officials said.
Sgt. Hugh Barry was indicted by a Bronx grand jury in the Oct. 18, 2016, death of Deborah Danner, 66, during a tense confrontation in her Castle Hill apartment.
The eight-year NYPD veteran, charged with murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, was held on $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash bail after entering a plea of not guilty to all counts.
The sergeant, in a black suit and blue tie, stood silently with his uncuffed hands clasped behind his back. He stared straight ahead inside the Bronx courtroom, offering no hint of his thoughts.
Barry pulled the trigger and mortally injured Danner after the mentally ill woman put down a pair of scissors — and picked up a baseball bat.
“I think this is great news for society,” said Wallace Cooke, 74, an NYPD retiree and Danner’s cousin. “Debbie had no reason to die, and the cop had no reason to shoot her.”
Cooke blamed Barry for mishandling the situation after a neighbor called police to report that Danner was screaming. When the cops arrived, Danner was inside a rear bedroom clutching the scissors.
Barry convinced Danner to put down the scissors. He opened fire after she grabbed the bat and rushed at him.
“He intended to kill her, no doubt,” Cooke told the Daily News. “When you shoot somebody twice in her own bedroom? All he had to do was close the damn door and walk out.”
The NYPD announced Wednesday that Barry was placed on suspended duty pending the results of his criminal case in the Bronx. He was due back in court on July 7.
“The arrest of the NYPD sergeant charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Deborah Danner is a good step in a long walk toward justice,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who invoked the 1984 police killing of Eleanor Bumpurs.
The Bronx woman was the same age as Danner when she was fatally shotgunned by a police officer who was acquitted of manslaughter.
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