NYPD denies allegations of mistaken identity in Mott Haven shooting

Posted: Updated:
MOTT HAVEN -

The NYPD has responded to allegations that they entered the wrong apartment when they shot and killed a man while executing a search warrant.

Mario Sanabria, 69, was killed in his Mott Haven home earlier this month, and his family says that police shot him in a case of mistaken identity.

NYPD Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan defended the handling of the situation, saying, "We were absolutely in the right apartment. We had solid information about what person was supposed to be in there, his identification was found in there. He's a relative of the men who were found in the apartment, and he was discovered outside the apartment afterward."

Police say when they entered Sanabria's apartment, he was wielding a machete-like weapon that he refused to put down.

Authorities then fired one shot into Sanabria's chest, and he later died at Lincoln Hospital.

The family of Sanabria says he did not speak English and that he kept the knife nearby in case of a break-in.

Sanabria's nephew Miguel Conde said that he was taken into custody for questioning, but he was released the same day after investigators realized the person they were looking for had a different first name.

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