NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD says an officer was forced to fire his gun after a suspect allegedly pointed a gun at him and said “Die.”
Witnesses huddled behind cars on West 166th Street off Summit Avenue in the Bronx on Sunday, as they watched the suspect struggle on the ground with police.
Then there was gunfire.
“Out of nowhere, while he was handcuffed, he was shot. He was shot in the arm,” witness Patrice Turner told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Turner said she was walking by as police ran up to the suspect standing next to a BMW with what appeared to be a shattered window. Police said they saw the man break the window.
“He was telling them that it was his car. He was locked outside of his car,” Turner said.
“The officer began to question the individual, who produced keys that were not for that vehicle,” NYPD Chief Terence Monahan said. “As the officers began to put the individual under arrest, a struggle ensued.”
Audio from Turner’s cellphone video and video from other witnesses reveals the man telling police he owns the car in question.
“I know my rights. I’ve done this before. It’s my vehicle! Help me! It’s my vehicle!” the suspect is heard saying.
Cellphone video shows an officer cuffing one of the suspect’s wrist as the two responding officers try to subdue him. Police said body cameras recorded the suspect threatening the officers.
“It captures the suspect saying ‘I have a gun. (expletive) die,'” Monahan said.
That’s when police said the officer pulled his gun from its holster and fired twice, striking the man in his torso and hip. Police recovered a gun from the suspect, but witnesses said they didn’t see the man with a gun.
“We didn’t see no firearm,” witness Mercedes Escoto said.
“The officer is stating the gun is pointed to his chest. At the point, the officer discharges his weapon. So when you’re looking from a distance, you’re not seeing what’s happening in that real close quarter,” Monahan said.
Police said the man, who wasn’t identified, was in stable condition after undergoing surgery at Lincoln Hospital. Charges against him are pending, Sanchez reported.
The officers were taken to a hospital for observation.