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NYPD officer fired gun while clearing protesters from Hamilton Hall at Columbia, DA's office confirms

NYPD officer fired gun during Hamilton Hall raid at Columbia, Manhattan DA confirms
NYPD officer fired gun during Hamilton Hall raid at Columbia, Manhattan DA confirms 02:35

NEW YORK -- An NYPD officer fired his gun inside Hamilton Hall during Tuesday night's operation at Columbia University, the Manhattan district attorney's office confirms. 

The DA's office says students were not in the immediate vicinity of the gunfire and that no one was hurt. The incident is now under review by the office's Police Accountability Unit.

In a statement released Thursday night, the NYPD said an Emergency Service Unit officer was using a firearm equipped with a flashlight to illuminate a barricaded area and accidentally fired one shot, which struck a frame in a nearby wall. The NYPD says it immediately conducted an investigation and determined it was an accidental discharge.

Columbia President Dr. Minouche Shafik called the NYPD to help clear Hamilton Hall after protesters forced their way inside the building late Monday night and refused to leave all day Tuesday.

NYPD officers were seen entering campus on foot and through a second-floor window of Hamilton Hall. Edited video released by the department showed officers clearing furniture from stairwells and prying open doors.

By the end of the night, officers had cleared Hamilton Hall and dismantled two encampments on the school's lawn.

Nearly 300 people arrested at Columbia, CUNY universities

The NYPD said Thursday that police arrested nearly 300 people at Columbia and CUNY campuses Tuesday night. According to the NYPD, 27% of those protesters are over 30 years old and nearly 5% are over 40 years old.

Police say 109 arrests were made at Columbia.

Columbia University officials said Thursday that of those arrested inside Hamilton Hall, 14 were Columbia undergraduate students, nine were Columbia graduate students and two were Columbia employees. Six students from affiliated institutions and 13 unaffiliated individuals were also arrested inside the building.

Sources tell CBS New York that police have been working with dozens of schools and colleges to develop protest response plans.

Columbia's president has asked the NYPD to maintain a presence on campus until May 17, two days after the school's commencement.

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