On November 20, 2014, Akai Gurley, 28 years old, was visiting his girlfriend and getting his hair braided before Thanksgiving. He entered the stairwell on the 7th floor, below Officers Shaun Landau and Peter Liang, who were patrolling the pitch-dark stairwell with no lights. According to the prosecutors, seconds earlier, Officer Liang, who is left-handed, pulled out his flashlight with his right hand and unholstered his 9mm Glock with his left. He then shoved open the stairwell door with his right shoulder with his gun drawn pointed down the way police officers are trained. It appeared neither side knew the other was there and no words were exchanged, according to authorities. Liang's gun "accidentally" discharged as he opened the door and the bullet ricocheted off the wall and struck Gurley once in the chest. He died within a few minutes. Upon entering, Liang said he heard "a quick sound" to his left which startled him. He turned left and "it just went off when my whole body tensed up", Liang testified. It was reported that Gurley actually ran after hearing the gunshot, and didn't realize he was bleeding until collapsing on the fifth floor where he died.
Liang was given 5 year PROBATION for manslaughter.