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Former NYPD officer acquitted of murder in shooting of childhood friend during confrontation

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A former New York City police officer has been acquitted of murder in the shooting of his childhood friend during a confrontation on Long Island.

A jury on Thursday convicted Errick Allen, 30, only of menacing in the May 12, 2020, shooting of Christopher Curro, Newsday reported.

Allen was off duty when he shot Curro, his friend from elementary school in North Massapequa. New York state Attorney General Letitia James' office investigated the shooting because it involved a police officer.

Prosecutors from James' office said during the five-week trial that Allen shot Curro “execution style” in the head, the neck and the arm following an exchange of angry text messages. Defense attorney Anthony La Pinta said Curro had attacked Allen and tried to grab his NYPD-issued gun. La Pinta called the shooting a “classic case of self-defense," Newsday reported.

The jury in Nassau County acquitted Allen of murder and manslaughter charges. Because the menacing charge carries a one-year maximum prison sentence, Allen, who was incarcerated since being indicted in August 2021, was scheduled to be released Thursday evening.

Curro’s mother said she was angry and “very surprised and very shocked” at the verdict. Suzanne Curro said her son, who was 24 when he died, was unarmed during the confrontation.

“Chris had no weapons," the mother told Newsday. “My son only used his words, he didn’t use his weapons and he didn’t use his hands.”

Allen’s stepfather, Kyle Savas, said, “I hope everyone can begin healing. I hope the Curro family can find peace.”

The attorney general's office declined to comment.