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Deborah Danner’s baseball bat made me fear for life, shooter cop says

The NYPD sergeant on trial for fatally shooting an emotionally disturbed woman in her Bronx bedroom testified Tuesday that he thought he was going to die when she swung a wooden baseball bat at his head.

Sgt. Hugh Barry explained during his bench trial for murder and manslaughter that he was forced to make an impossible choice between his own life or 66-year-old Deborah Danner’s at the end of a tense standoff inside her Castle Hill apartment.

The sergeant had already persuaded the woman to drop a pair of scissors after he and three other officers responded to a call for an emotionally disturbed person on Oct. 18, 2016, he said.

Danner was ranting and cursing at police after dropping the shears and then ran back into her bedroom where the bat was.

“I’m seeing this bat (about to) crack me in the head and kill me,” Barry said on the witness stand. “She was in the middle of a swing, that’s when I shot her… I only see Ms. Danner, I only see the bat.”

Barry told Judge Robert Neary that he had no choice.

“I had to use my firearm, I had to use my weapon,” the sergeant said.

Assistant District Attorney Wanda Perez-Maldonado, argued, however, that Barry had other options before gunning down the schizophrenic woman.

“From the time he entered the apartment to the time he fired the shots was less than five minutes,” she said, arguing that Barry did not allow enough time to properly manage the situation.

The Bronx prosecutor pointed out that another cop, Officer Camilo Rosario, who was closer to Danner at the time she was killed did not use lethal force.

“He (was) the reasonable person in the situation. He did not (shoot) because he did not believe Ms. Danner (would swing).”


Barry told the court that he was stunned after the shooting.

“(I’m thinking) what the hell just happened?” he said on direct examination. “I screamed (for) EMS.”

“Did you ever intend to kill Ms. Danner?” Quinn asked.

“Absolutely not,” Barry responded. “I just wanted her to stop swinging that bat.”

source: nydaily

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