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Updated: May 8, 2024, 7:22 PM

Mayor Adams should fire cops involved in deadly shooting of Win Rozario, family says


The family of Win Rozario said Wednesday they were treated like “animals” in the hours following the fatal shooting of the youth as he underwent a mental health crisis, and called on Mayor Adams to fire the two officers involved.

Body-cam footage released Friday — more than five weeks after the young man’s fatal shooting on March 27 — showed NYPD officers entering the family’s Queens home, tasing the 19-year-old and then shooting him in the span of just three minutes.

“These police were grown men with guns,” Notan Eva Costa, Rozario’s mother, tearfully said through a translator at a press conference on the steps of City Hall. “They did not have to kill my child. I tried to protect my child. I begged my son. I begged the police not to shoot. But the police still killed him.”

The state attorney general is investigating the incident, which has devastated the Bangladeshi immigrant family and fueled anger at the NYPD’s responses to 911 calls involving mentally ill people.

Rozario’s parents described the “hell” they’ve been through in the days since his death, saying they weren’t allowed back into their home for two days after the shooting and were forced to look for somewhere else to sleep.

The family said Rozario’s mom and brother, who were inside the home at the time, could have been killed, too.

“What Cianfrocco and Alongi did to my son should never have happened,” father Francis Rozario said of the responding officers. “They treated my family like we were animals. They almost killed my wife and my other son. It’s not right.”

The body-cam footage, released by state Attorney General Letitia James, shows two officers entering the house after responding to a 911 call Rozario made himself, according to cops. The call recording has still not been released to the public.

The two officers involved, Matthew Cianfrocco and Salvatore Alongi, encounter Rozario’s 17-year-old brother, who explains his sibling was having a mental health episode, the footage shows.

“Bipolar schizo?” an officer asked.

“He doesn’t even know what he’s doing, to be honest,” the brother replied, later saying he wasn’t sure if Rozario had been diagnosed with anything.

Inside the house, the officers came across Rozario, who grabbed a pair of scissors as they entered.

The officer then tased him as his mother screamed and held the man while his brother begged them not to shoot.

The officers stopped tasing and for a moment, Rozario stood still in the kitchen, no scissors in his hand.

“Don’t shoot,” Costa, his mother, said in halting English before letting go of her son’s arm, following the officer’s order to back away.

The officers tased Rozario again, and he picked up the scissors and ran at the cops before his brother and mother pushed him back into the kitchen, trying to pry the item out of his hands.

The officers then shot him multiple times.

“Officers Cianfrocco and Alongi killed my son in a minute,” Costa said Wednesday. “Before they came, everything was calm. Then they came and created chaos and murdered me in front of me.”

The family urged the mayor to fire the two officers.

“Mayor Adams is sending out the message that the NYPD can murder teenagers in our own homes and get away with it. They need to be fired and prosecuted immediately,” said Rozario’s brother Utsho Rozario, 17.

Asked for comment, the mayor’s office provided a previous statement in which Adams said in part, “I share the profound pain felt by New Yorkers after watching the tragic video of the incident. …  Out of respect for the process, I will avoid commenting any further.”

The NYPD said in a statement it is fully cooperating with the AG’s investigation and that its own NYPD Force Investigation Division is also conducting a probe.

The two officers involved are on modified duty and aren’t carrying firearms.

“Each year, the NYPD receives more than 9 million calls for service, approximately 155,000 of which are emergency calls involving people in the throes of an emotional or mental health crisis,” the NYPD stated. “Less than 1% of those calls result in police using any form of force; even fewer encounters result in the use of deadly physical force.”

The city’s largest police union voiced support of the two cops.

“These police officers were faced with an individual who was holding a weapon and endangering multiple people,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry said in a statement. “As the body camera footage makes clear, they were trying to minimize the risks to everyone in that room and were forced to make split-second decisions based on those risks. They deserve a fair investigation … not demonization by activists who are exploiting this tragedy.”

With her other son’s hand at her back and her husband at her side, Costa wiped tears as she mourned the death of Rozario, whom she described as a disciplined student who dreamed of one day joining the military because he wanted to “do something for this country” and save enough money to buy a farm.

Utsho said he’s lost a brother, friend and role model. He remembered how Rozario spent hours practicing basketball when the family first moved to the U.S, so that “he became better than the people that played for their whole life.”

The family’s lawyer declined to share details about Rozario’s health or whether he was receiving any treatment.

“No mother should have to go through the pain I’m living through,” Costa said. “I hope no other mothers go through this in the future.”