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The Berkshires

Family searching for answers after fatal Newburgh shooting

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Albany/HV: Family searching for answers after fatal Newburgh shooting
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A family is looking for answers after a 22-year-old Newburgh man was shot by police. Our Venise Toussaint has more.


NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- “Why did they have to kill my son? That’s all I’m asking; why did they kill my son?” asked Arlene Lembhard.

She and her family are left with unanswered questions after they said Michael Lembhard, 22, was gunned down by Newburgh Police inside his sister’s home.

"They killed him in the house, in the living room. They killed him with his nieces and nephews and his two sisters in the house thats what we've got to remember," the victim's sister Cherry Lembhard said.

The incident happened late Wednesday night at 55 Liberty Street in Newburgh. Family members said Lembhard, a father of two, had a bench warrant out for his arrest after failing to appear in court on a domestic violence charge.

The family said police told them that Lembhard ran into the home and charged at them with knife. Lembhard's sister, Cherry, who was inside the home at the time with four young children said Lembhard never left his home. Instead, four officers without a warrant kicked down her door and opened fire.

“I heard about nine or ten gun shots go off,” said a neighbor.

The crime scene was blocked off for hours as officers collected evidence. The case is now under investigation by the District Attorney’s office and state police. Newburgh police released very limited information Thursday, promising more details in a news conference on Friday

"We will do a complete investigation as to what happened, how it happened, all the circumstances involving it," said Newburgh Police Chief Michael Ferrara.

Tensions flared as the police cleared the scene Thursday morning, as the family entered the home for the first time since the shooting. What they saw was too much to bear. Inside the living room, several bullet holes were etched into the walls and sofa, the hard wood floor covered.

“How many times did they shoot that gun? How many times? How many officers?” asked Cherry Lembhard.

The Newburgh Police will hold a news conference on Friday at 11 a.m.

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