NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An NYPD officer and the shooting suspect were both killed amid gunfire in the Edenwald section of the Bronx early Sunday morning.
Police confirmed 33-year-old Brian Mulkeen, a nearly seven-year veteran of the NYPD serving with the anti-crime unit in the 47th Precinct, was killed.
9/29/19 Police Officer Brian Mulkeen End of Watch,Bronx Borough Anti Crime Unit. Died saving lives’, defending those less fortunate and taking many guns off NYC streets. 9/28/19 arrest for a gun & 50 guns arrest on his team this year. Rest In Peace our Hero,job well done 🙏➕🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/R6agl1gvyL
— SBA (@SBANYPD) September 29, 2019
The shooting suspect, who police have identified as 27-year-old Antonio L. Williams, of Binghamton, died at the scene.
The incident happened at 12:30 a.m. on East 229th Street near the corner of Laconia Avenue by the Edenwald Houses, the largest NYCHA complex in the Bronx. Crowds rushed to see what happened after gunshots erupted, CBS2’s Khiran Dillon reported.
“We just heard gunshots. We were scared,” resident Rachel Barretto said.
“It was a lot of yelling, a lot of commotion, cops running over here with flashlights and everything,” added Pedro Gonzalez, who was visiting the neighborhood.
According to police, three cops were patrolling the area in a car and got out to question Williams, who then ran away.
“They are in an area that had numerous shootings, as recent as last night. We saw him walking, he looked suspicious. As you see on body cam, he starts running, and you can see clearly he’s reaching into his waist, trying to pull something out,” Chief of Department Terence Monahan said.
The officers chased Williams by foot, catching up and wrestling him to the ground.
In body cam footage, officers can be heard yelling “He’s reaching for it” multiple times.
Mulkeen was shot three times and taken to Jacobi Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
First Police Radio Reports Of Officer Shot In The Bronx:
Monahan reported five officers then fired at Williams, who was later pronounced dead on the scene.
The .32-caliber gun was recovered off Williams, but Monahan said it does not appear Williams’ gun is the one that fired.
Monahan said Mulkeen’s gun fired five times, but it’s unclear who fired his gun.
Williams was on probation for a narcotics-related charge from last year. He has numerous other arrests on his record.
People who live in the area were upset by the incident.
“Very shocked. I didn’t want to leave my room,” Johanna Summers told CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon.
“I’m sad that one of our officers that’s there to protect us got shot,” a neighbor added.
A sentiment that’s being shared by officials and residents all over the five boroughs.
“There is no worse a moment in our profession than this,” tweeted NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill. “Please keep Brian’s family and colleagues in your thoughts.”
“We lost a hero by every measure, we lost a hero,” added Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This family needs our support. It’s very painful in every way, but to think that their son made this choice and now has given his life. We have to be there for him.
“He did everything for us. We have to be there for this family. They have to be in our thoughts and prayers. We have to support them every step along the way,” he said. “We can tell by what we’ve seen this evening, by what we’ve learned of him tonight, he did everything, everything right. Put his life on the line because he believed.”
Dozens of officers lined up outside Jacobi Medical Center to give a final salute to Officer Brian Mulkeen. pic.twitter.com/IR23a1oxM1
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) September 29, 2019
“We ask the churches and synagogues and mosques to open their doors today and allow our citizens to come in and realize that they’re allowed to worship in freedom because of police officers like Brian,” said Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association. “We ask them in part of their sermon today to ask their folks in those pews, the citizens of this city to bow their heads and think about a family upstairs that can’t pick their head up because they’re so grief-stricken.
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) September 29, 2019
“That’s what happens when soulless individuals carry guns and struggle with police officers,” he said. “They devastate all of us.”
Police are urging people to avoid the area around East 229th Street and Laconia Avenue due to the ongoing investigation Sunday.
Both de Blasio and Westchester County Executive George Latimer ordered flags be lowered to half-staff in Mulkeen’s honor.
The New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, also known as Answer the Call, said they are donating $25,000 to Mulkeen’s family.
The NYPD has had a difficult year, with a number of tragic deaths.
Mulkeen is the second NYPD officer killed in the line of duty, following Det. Brian Simonsen, who was accidentally shot by fellow officers in February while confronting a robbery suspect.
“We’ve been here too often. We know the directions to get here,” Lynch said. “It has to stop.”
Mulkeen’s death comes as the NYPD has declared a mental health emergency amid a spate of suicides by police officers. Nine NYPD officers have taken their own lives this year, a disturbing trend that is also happening throughout the country.
Stay with CBS New York for more on this developing story.