Two NYPD officers shot a gun-toting man in Washington Heights who apparently charged at them Thursday morning in an apparent suicide-by-cop attempt, police sources said.
Chief of Patrol John Chell noted this was the second time in four days officers responding to a 911 call for assistance found themselves “under some sort of attack, and had to defend themselves.”
However, in this instance, Chell revealed the suspect may have been on a mission to end his own life.
“Inside that vehicle, we do have a note indicating that the individual wanted to commit suicide for various things going on his life, but he also apologized to our cops for what was about to happen,” Chief Chell said.
According to Chief Chell, two cops rushed to West 177th Street and Haven Avenue at around 2:55 a.m. on Dec. 7 after police received multiple 911 calls of an apparent vehicle collision.
As the two responding officers got closer to an involved vehicle, they saw two people inside.
“One officer approaches the passenger side where there is a female, a second officer approaches the driver’s side, where immediately upon approaching that car, the door opens up,” Chell said.
At that moment, Chell noted, a 19-year-old man wearing a ski mask and brandishing a gun leapt out of the vehicle and ran at the cops. That led the officers to pull out their service weapons and fire about eight shots — two of which struck the man in the chest.
EMS rushed the wounded suspect to a local hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery and is expected to survive. Charges against him are pending the results of an ongoing investigation.
Meanwhile, the female passenger is being questioned at a local precinct about what led up to the shooting, it was reported.
The responding officers were also transported to a local hospital for an evaluation; they were not physically injured.
The investigation remains ongoing. The NYPD Force Investigation Division examines police shooting incidents.
If you or someone you love is suicidal, call the Suicide and Crisis Hotline at 988 immediately.