Newburgh showdown ends in death of activist's sonPosted: Updated:
Police say they were forced to open fire on the son of an area activist during a shootout Monday night.Police say 22-year-old Antonio Bryant was standing next to a car that was blocking traffic in the road. When the cruiser pulled up, Bryant got in the backseat and the driver drove away. Police say they followed the car for a few blocks out of suspicion. When they got to City Terrace, police say Bryant got out of the car and began shooting. They say Bryant fired one round at a police sergeant before he turned and ran away, leading them on a foot chase during which he continually shot at them. Then at the intersection of Liberty Street and Broadway, police back-up joined the officer and the pursuit became a showdown. Police say Bryant shot at them six times before they began firing back in self-defense. Police officer William Lahar fired the shot that struck Bryant in the head and killed him.Bryant had recently been paroled after being convicted of manslaughter. Police say he was violating his parole by being out Monday night. However, Bryant?s father and outspoken activist, Omario Shakur and his wife say the officers' actions were unwarranted and unjustified.Officer Lahar was given administrative leave as a result of the incident. A grand jury will hear the case and decide whether or not the officer?s actions were justified. In the meantime, some Newburgh residents are unsettled and outraged by the incident. The Newburgh Police Department has increased patrols to protect themselves from of any sort of retaliation.