The father of a man shot and killed by police on a violent block of West Humboldt Parksays he has no idea why officers gunned down his son, whom he described as just a “dorky kid.”
“There’s witnesses out there that say he didn’t have no gun, so I don’t know what the hell is going on,” Pedro Gonzalez said as he stood in a gangway near his home Wednesday evening, not far from where police shot his 21-year-old son, Pedro Gonzalez III.
“This neighborhood is bad,” Gonzalez said. “We need more police. . .That’s what the mayor says. Let’s see what happens.”
Officials say three officers in a squad car saw Gonzalez standing near Jovany’s memorial near Hirsch and Kolin with what appeared to be a bulge in his waistband. “They can clearly see a weapon stuck into his waistband,” said an official with the Fraternal Order of Police.
The officers got out of their car and started chasing the Gonzalez, according to a spokesman for the FOP, Pat Camden. In the 1400 block of North Kolin Avenue, Gonzalez pulled out a gun and was shot by the officers, he said.
Gonzalez was taken in serious to critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:21 p.m.
Gonzalez’s father said he was very protective of his son and didn’t want him to leave their home because of all the violence in the neighborhood. His son was a graduate of Roberto Clemente High School; he had been having trouble finding work, and at one point tried to enlist in the Army.
The elder Gonzalez said his son and Jovany were best friends — like cousins — and were fans of the Miami Heat and LeBron James.
“He was a good kid,” Gonzalez said. He always stayed at home,” he said. “I was strict with him.”