News

NYPD officers shot man in Bronx after his father called 311 for help with mental health crisis

GOTHAMIST, Bahar Ostadan, March 27, 2023

Santo de la Cruz called 311 Sunday morning seeking medical intervention for his 42-year-old son, who he said was in the midst of a schizophrenic episode. Within minutes, his son was lying outside of the Bronx apartment building where his family lives, shot by officers responding to the call, de la Cruz told Gothamist.

The son, Raul de la Cruz, was in critical condition at St. Barnabas Hospital on Monday. Santo said doctors gave him a slim chance of survival.

The pair had gotten into an argument earlier in the morning on Sunday after Raul posted a video online goading police, who he thought were out to get him, the elder de la Cruz said in an interview Monday afternoon.

“I told them [311] that I called them instead because I didn’t want something bad to happen,” de la Cruz recounted in Spanish, noting that his son would sometimes yell at people in public, provoking them when he was off of his medication. “I told them I didn’t want him to do anything bad or for him to end up killed. That’s what I told 311.”

Read More: Gothamist