According to the preliminary accounts, Officer Edwards, who was black, drew his weapon after encountering and racing after a man who was breaking into his car around the corner from the police station he worked from, on East 123rd Street; Officer Dunton, one of three white officers in an unmarked police car patrolling the neighborhood, saw him racing down the street with his pistol in the air, and emerged from the car to shout, “Police! Drop the gun.”
Officer Edwards, according to the account, turned to face his unwitting colleagues, his gun pointed their way.
Several witnesses told the police that Officer Edwards never said a word. But one witness, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case, said Officer Edwards might have managed to begin to say one word — “Police.”
When Officer Dunton learned that he had just fired on a fellow officer, he was shattered, said a person familiar with the accounts of the two officers who had been riding with him.
“He took this news very hard,” said the person. “The color drained from his face, he was shell-shocked, in disbelief. He was physically shaking. You never want to shoot your gun, and when you shoot your gun and find out it’s a guy on your own team, it’s devastating.”