NEW YORK (CBS 2) — More than 40 bullets flew in Harlem during a wild melee that left one person killed and several others wounded, including two police officers.

Sources say the gunshot that hit the bulletproof vest of one of the officers, though, was fired from a fellow cop.

The storm of bullets happened at around 3 a.m. on Lenox Avenue, between 143rd and 144th Streets. There were perhaps 500 people in the street at a barbeque when, police say, two men in their 20s got into a fight over a woman.

Police say one of the men, 23-year-old Angel Alvarez, shot and killed Luis Soto, who would have turned 22 in a couple of weeks.

“A 22-year-old male was shot and killed in a dispute with a rival, apparently in an argument over a woman,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

“That’s my son’s only son! Okay? He was my pride and joy,” the victim’s grandmother, Myrna Soto, said.

Police say that after Alvarez allegedly shot and killed Soto, he turned at fired at approaching officers. According to the police commissioner, four of the five officers then returned fire.

In the wild shooting that followed, Officer Michael Tedeschi was saved by his vest. Officer Alfredo Vargas was grazed in the hand by a bullet.

“When they let all of those shots off, and they were standing around shooting, everybody ran,” witness John Michael said.

The scene was so chaotic that police are now saying that the bullet that struck Tedeschi’s vest was fired by another officer.

Witnesses, however, tell another version of the story. Some claim that the shooting started not with Alvarez shooting Soto, but that most of the shooting came from police officers.

Commissioner Kelly said that over 40 of the shots fired did come from police, but that a .38-caliber weapon was recovered which police believe was used to kill Soto.

Alvarez’s family already has a lawyer, John Carney, who says he is bringing a witness – a friend of Alvarez – to the district attorney. The witness says police were responsible.

“They formed a circle around the guys that were fighting and stood there, and just opened up fire on the two guys,” that witness, Shariff Senter, said.

Commissioner Kelly acknowledged that what police believe happened could change as more evidence becomes available.

Three other people were also shot in the wild melee – they’re reportedly in stable condition at Harlem Hospital. Two other police officers were hurt during the altercation.

Comments (25)
  1. help says:

    […] One Dead, Several Hurt After Wild Harlem Shootout « CBS New York – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY […]

  2. STEVE says:

    My BBQ’S are over by midnight. Just f$%king savages. END OF STORY.

  3. Nemesis says:

    And this is why we have to begin having children on other Moons and planets, in order for our species to survive. It is our destiny. Remember, all roads lead to Space. Space will set you free.

  4. fern says:

    I was just thinking how déjà vu this situation is could I call it the Sean Bell syndrome?
    50 shots fired, probably no one armed except the police, after a lengthy internal inquiry, a little reprimand maybe, a civil suite and few millions paid out to the victims, a medal for being wounded in the line of duty to the officer.
    Would it be that Bloomberg needs the mosque and its money to face the coming lawsuit?

  5. harlem subhuman says:

    just another dead animal… society can sleep better tonight

  6. james says:

    i was there da cops kiiled boobills

  7. Ravan says:

    I respect the news Journalists for bringing us the stories “as they happen”. This is the nature of journalism to bring the news to the people. That is – those that understand that details always emerge, facts unravel and the truth reveals. In that bloody order. Finally, stories are again drawn to our attention with more accurate facts. But you have dingbats speaking to journalists saying anything that escapes out of a crack on their skulls – and it never, ever is the truth. Never.

  8. Tazer says:

    since nobody posting here was THERE, how about we ALL shut up & wait for the investigation to complete b4 we assign any blame m’kay??

  9. will says:

    that was b-mack vioce

  10. Ronnie Schmidt says:

    One less welfare recipient to waste our tax dollars…..

  11. Denblak says:

    According to ABC news, the man who was shot , was shot by another Harlem man who was arguing whit. you (WCBS) made it sound like the person who was shot & kill, was handcuffed. before you put a story on the web,,,get your facts right…..It NOT always the police who are at fault……

    1. jackie says:

      @ denblak for ur information it was the police fault. so shut-up cause u dont no what happen. comment on what u no. R.I.P luis and to the family u will get the truth. so im sending my love and respect and stay strong family

      1. wanda says:

        jackie – get your story straight. the cops are not at fault here.

      2. wanda says:

        jackie – the cops are not at fault

  12. Finksterz says:

    lol did they sprinkle some crack on him?

  13. KMarsh says:

    Very True. At these events, it always ends with someone being killed or a fight. It’s natural. Usually they are shooting or fighting over what block is better… Silly.

  14. search for the truth! says:

    I like the fact that there are facts being brought to this story, when I went to NY1, they are saying that the accident happend over a girl, which was totally made up. They should get the story from witnesses and not from the police . that young man was shot by the police. it was crazy out there and anytime there is a big event in Harlem there is always someone getting killed. And these shootings are always beef over the best blocks or gang related its never over a girl. Hopefully the truth will come out…THAT BOY WAS KILLED BY THE POLICE!!!!

    1. Jack says:

      So I assume you were a witness to this? Step up and tell your story to the DA . That would be the way for the truth to come out in the open.

    2. jackieo says:

      ignorant fool. the truth will come out and you’ll learn that the victim was NOT killed by the cops.

      1. jackie says:

        @ jackieo get a life and M.Y.O.B

  15. Atholstaus Spilhausen says:

    I agree, the headline is bad and the story is was clearly written by someone without a clear understanding of journalism. it reads as if it were taken from a blog.

  16. wrong again media says:

    get ALL the details before you print a story. there is still an on going investigation.

  17. porky chopper says:

    Please write a new headline—too ambiguous, implies that a police officer died. Please rewrite story so that it is organized and presents information in a clear and logical sequence.

    1. joe sick of idiots says:

      why don’t you edit it always the first to complain when you could do no better.if you read the article you would’nt be confused

      1. bob says:

        joe sick of idiots – you are an idiot. by the time you posted your reply the headline was already changed. the first headline that porky chopper referred to was TERRIBLY written.

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