Sgt. Hugh Barry Charged with Fatally Shooting Bronx Woman in Her Home
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a New York City Police Department sergeant has been indicted for second-degree Murder, first and second-degree Manslaughter and Criminally Negligent Homicide in the fatal shooting of Deborah Danner in her Bronx apartment on October 18, 2016, when he and other police officers responded to a call of an emotionally disturbed person.
District Attorney Clark said, “A special grand jury investigated this case for more than two months. After a thorough, deliberate investigation, they have indicted NYPD Sergeant Hugh Barry for causing the death of Ms. Danner. When I asked last December that a special grand jury be impaneled, I said there would be no timetable, and that a fair investigation would take place and go wherever the evidence takes it. I commend the grand jurors for their painstaking work and for giving so much time away from their families.
“I want to express my condolences again to the Danner family for the heartbreaking loss they have suffered. I thank them for their cooperation and patience throughout these last seven months.
“The men and women of the NYPD protect and serve us, and face the possibility of danger every time they respond to calls of emotionally disturbed persons, domestic violence incidents and other crises. They answer thousands of these calls each year without incident. I hope that measures will be taken to prevent another tragedy such as this.”
District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Hugh Barry, 31, a sergeant in the New York City Police Department assigned to the 43rd Precinct in the Bronx, was arraigned today before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary and released on $100,000 bond. He is due back in court on July 7, 2017.
Barry was indicted on charges of second-degree Murder, first and second-degree Manslaughter and Criminally Negligent Homicide. If convicted of the top charge, he could face up to life in prison.
According to the investigation, at about 6 p.m. on October 18, 2016, police officers from the 43rd Precinct responded to 66-year-old Ms. Danner’s seventh-floor apartment at 630 Pugsley Avenue in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx for a 911 call for an emotionally disturbed woman who was screaming in the hallway. Barry arrived after police and Emergency Medical Service EMTs. While they attempted to take Ms. Danner into custody to be evaluated at a hospital, Ms. Danner is alleged to have refused to go to the hospital, at one point holding a pair of scissors and then holding a wooden bat toward Barry before he shot her two times.
The investigation revealed that, based on these circumstances and his training, Barry did not avail himself of other options before using deadly physical force.
District Attorney Clark thanked Chief Appellate Attorney Peter D. Coddington and Senior Appellate Attorney Matthew B. White of the Appeals Bureau and Christine Scaccia, Chief of the Homicide Bureau, for their assistance in the case.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.