Police shot and killed an armed man near Manhattan’s Tompkins Square Park early on Thursday morning, moments after the suspect gunned down a patron during a beef that began at a nearby hookah lounge, law enforcement sources said.
According to the NYPD, the trouble began at about 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 9, when two uniformed officers assigned to the 9th Precinct heard gunshots while patrolling inside the East Village park, near the corner of Avenue A and East 7th Street.
Upon hearing the gunshots, Chief of Department Terence Monahan said, the officers exited the park and “tactically approached the location.” They then observed the suspect firing shots at another man — who was apparently shot and mortally wounded.
“The two officers engaged the armed suspect and gave numerous commands for him to get on the ground,” Monahan said. “It was then that the officers fired three times at the man, striking him.”
EMS rushed the injured suspect to Bellevue Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
During the preliminary investigation, police determined that the suspect got into a dispute with the other man moments earlier at the Hayaty hookah lounge, located at 103 Avenue A. They apparently exchanged gunfire shortly after exiting the lounge, which prompted the police response.
The other man also suffered gunshot wounds and was pronounced deceased; Monahan stated that he was not shot by police.
Police officials did not disclose the dead men’s identities, nor the nature of their injuries, pending the results of the ongoing investigation.
The man whom police shot did have a prior record; Monahan said he was out on parole after serving 8 years in prison for an unrelated shooting.
At the scene, Monahan reported, officers recovered two .22-caliber handguns — one located under the man whom police had shot, and the other recovered near the second man.
The two officers involved in the shooting were not injured, but taken to a hospital for evaluation, Monahan said. Their bodycams were active, and the footage is now being reviewed.
“This morning’s shooting underscores the courage our cops show every day as they run toward danger,” Monahan added.
The case is in the hands of the NYPD Force Investigation Division, which examines police-involved shootings.
UPDATE: @NYPDChiefofDept and other NYPD executives provide an update on this morning’s police involved shooting in Lower Manhattan. The investigation is ongoing, all information is preliminary https://t.co/sWwYY7Reqi
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) January 9, 2020