A police officer shot and critically wounded a man armed with a gun – later determined to be a BB gun – in East Flatbush Thursday night, the NYPD said.
Officers responded to a call about a 19-year-old man, identified by a law enforcement source as Naeem Graham, with a gun at a deli on the corner of Church Avenue and East 34th Street shortly after 10 p.m., Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan said.
The officers tried to take him into custody, but he fled north on 34th Street with the weapon in his hand, police said.
“One police officer discharged one round, which struck the suspect in the leg,” Monahan said.
Graham continued to flee, but officers caught up to him at an apartment building on East 34th Street, near Linden Boulevard, police said.
Officers Remy Jean-Francois, 33, Philip Longo, 30, and Kevin Hunter, 33, were among those to respond, an NYPD spokesman said. The officers saw the suspect bleeding from the leg in what appeared to be a wound which had severed an artery, the spokesman said.
Jean-Francois, of the 60th Precinct, is not only part of the department’s neighborhood policing program, but also a trained EMT, according to the spokesman.
Jean-Francois ripped the suspect’s sweatpants and fashioned a tourniquet out of the material and a stick. When EMS personnel arrived, the crew gave Jean-Francois a regular tourniquet and he placed it on the man’s leg to replace the makeshift one. The NYPD is crediting that action with saving his life.
He was taken to Kings County Hospital Center and was listed in critical condition Friday afternoon.
Tatiana Pacheco, 18, identified herself as Graham’s girlfriend as she sat on the stoop of a building near the deli Friday afternoon. She said they’ve been together for more than two years.
“He’s very smart. He takes care of his family. He’s full of love and joy and goes out of his way for people,” Pacheco said of Graham. “He’s not the type to harm someone.”
The BB gun was recovered at the scene.
It wasn’t immediately clear what Graham was doing with the gun in the deli or if he would be charged with a crime. He has multiple prior arrests, most of which are sealed, police said.
With Anthony M. DeStefano and Rajvi Desai