The .45-caliber handgun used to kill Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo last Friday had been stolen in 2011 from the car of its licensed owner in Suffolk County, police officials said Monday.
The owner had reported the gun stolen at the time, said an NYPD official. It was unclear how Manuel Rosales, 35, of Brentwood, the head suspect in Tuozzolo’s slaying, got his hands on the weapon.
Tuozzolo, 41, of Huntington, was struck twice in the head by bullets fired by Rosales, said a enforcement official. The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuozzolo died as a result of injuries to the skull and brain.
Tuozzolo, an NYPD sergeant and a 19-year veteran from Huntington, was killed Friday afternoon when Rosales who opened fire as officers responded to a report of a disturbance at the Bronx home of the gunman’s estranged wife, officials said.
Rosales shot another officer, Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo, 30, in the leg, officials said. Kwo suffered wounds in his leg and was released from Jacobi Medical Center on Friday night.
Rosales also was shot and killed by police gunfire, including by a new recruit who was still in training, officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The sergeant is the fifth line-of-duty death suffered by the NYPD since December 2014. It comes amid a spate of shooting deaths of police, which includes the ambush of two officers earlier this week in Des Moines.
The NYPD said the Friday afternoon drama unfolded when police received a 911 call about 2:45 p.m. from a woman who said that an armed man had broken into her home at 1460 Beach Ave. in the Van Nest section of the Bronx. A dispatcher told responding units that the man had left the home shortly after the incident was broadcast, and that he was driving a red Jeep, police said at the time.
Living at the location were Rosales’ estranged 29-year-old wife and her two children, as well as a 50-year-old woman who made the 911 call, the NYPD said.
The NYPD said officers noticed a vehicle matching that description on Bronx River and Noble avenues near Noble Playground about 2:52 p.m. and approached the vehicle, at which time Rosales opened fire and struck Tuozzolo in the head.