VIDEO: Rookie NYPD Officer Shoots, Kills Unarmed Man in Brooklyn Project

A rookie New York City police officer shot and killed an unarmed 28-year-old man in a darkened stairwell in Brooklyn late Thursday night, according to the police.

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said that the victim, Akai Gurley, was "a total innocent" and called the shooting "an unfortunate accident," the New York Times reports.

He was not engaged in any activity other than trying to walk down the stairs, Mr. Bratton said.

The officer who shot Mr. Gurley, Peter Liang, has been on the force for less than 18 months and was still on probationary status.

Officer Liang, 27, and his partner, who was also new to the force, were patrolling the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York on Thursday night, part of an effort to increase the police presence at the housing complex, which had been plagued by a spate of violence, including two homicides.