The knife-wielding man that the NYPD gunned down on Saturday was known as the "Times Square Ninja" according to street vendors in the area. The man, identified as Darrius Kennedy, would reportedly dress up like a ninja and do flips for tourist tips. According to police, they approached Kennedy because he was smoking marijuana. He refused to cooperate, leading police on a chase while armed with an 11-inch blade. When he refused to put the blade down, police fired 12 rounds at him.

According to the Post, Kennedy had 11 priors, including arrests for marijuana possession and robbery. Back in 2008, he was sentenced to 40 days in prison for resisting arrest after he allegedly threatened officers with a screw driver. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says police used pepper spray six times to no avail, and no officer on the scene had a Taser. Commissioner Ray Kelly says that his officers "responded appropriately."

Mayor Bloomberg defended the NYPD's actions, saying they shout "somebody who must have been mentally deranged. Taking a knife and going after other people, particularly police officers, isn’t something that a sane person would do."

[via Gothamist]