NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are investigating a wild gun battle between an NYPD officer and a suspected robber in the University Heights section of the Bronx.
Two innocent bystanders were hit in the crossfire and the suspect is recovering in the hospital after the officer fired dozens of shots at him.
Video obtained exclusively by CBS2 shows the suspect running down the block with a bag in his hand as the officer fires his handgun over and over.
“He had one hand on the gun and he was shooting and going like this, ‘bam, bam, bam,” witness Anthony Bell said. “He kept shooting, just shooting, shooting, shooting.”
Police sources say Officer Juan Gomez fired 27 rounds in the running gun battle that went on for an entire block, eventually coming to an end at Loring Place and West Fordham Road.
The suspect, 36-year-old Edwin Concepcion, was struck in the neck by one of the officer’s rounds.
“There were bullets everywhere,” Bell said. “Cars on each side had bullets in them.”
Before that, investigators say two innocent bystanders were also hit: 12-year-old Gabrielle Hayes, on her way home from school when she was struck by bullet fragments, and 46-year-old Rosana Urena, hit in the stomach.
Police sources say both bullets match Gomez’s gun.
It all started Wednesday around 6 p.m. when Concepcion came running out of an apartment building lobby with a mask on and backpack full of drugs.
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Police say he had just robbed two men at gunpoint for those drugs, firing one shot but not hitting anyone.
He then happened to run by officer Gomez and his partner in an unmarked car near West 183rd Street and Loring Place. Officer Gomez gave chase because he looked suspicious, according to police sources.
When he identified himself as a police officer, sources say the suspect fired two shots.
Gomez, who has been with the NYPD for five years, returned 27 shots, even reloading once.
Experts who have spoken with CBS2 say NYPD officers get firearm training in the academy, and then yearly after that. Their training includes target accuracy, plus when and when not to use their weapon.
Cops must re-qualify at a range annually to be considered fit for duty, experts say.
The NYPD Force Investigation Unit is working to determine if Gomez’s actions fall within departmental guidelines. Presently, Gomez is on desk duty without his weapon.
Concepcion, Hayes, and Urena all remain hospitalized, with Concepcion facing multiple charges including attempted murder.