A rookie New York Police Department officer who shot an unarmed man inside a housing project is nearing his trial.

Jury selection was beginning Wednesday afternoon in Officer Peter Liang's (lee-ANG') manslaughter trial. The officer shot and killed 28-year-old Akai Gurley in 2014.

Liang has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers have indicated he'll take the witness stand to say it was an accident.

Investigators say Liang was holding his flashlight and his gun when he fired a single round in a pitch black stairwell. The bullet bounced off a wall before striking Gurley, who was on the floor below him.

Prosecutors also say that the officer and his partner argued over whether to report the shooting to supervisors.

A jury could hear opening statements Monday.