Armed robbery in East Harlem leads to officer-involved shooting: NYPD

Police are investigating an armed robbery in East Harlem that led to an officer-involved shooting on Monday morning.

Authorities reported that at around 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 15, a man, who was working in the area, was walking near the corner of 122nd Street and Park Avenue when a tan GMC Terrain pulled up next to him. Two unknown men dressed in black face masks and black hoods got out of the car and proceeded to rob the victim at gunpoint.

While this was happening, an off-duty NYPD detective assigned to the Firearms Suppression Division was walking on Park Avenue. Police officials say that the officer witnessed the incident, pulled out his service pistol, identified himself as a police officer, and ordered the suspects not to move. One of the suspects turned toward the officer while still holding the gun, causing the officer to fire one round towards the suspects.

The suspects then dropped the gun, a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol, and fled on foot eastbound on E. 122nd Street, eventually reentering that same tan SUV at the corner of E 122nd Street and 3rd Avenue. The car, which has a Florida license plate 8814AR, was last seen traveling over the Willis Avenue Bridge into the Bronx.

The victim was not injured as a result of the incident, though the suspects managed to steal money and a wristwatch from the victim prior to fleeing. At this time, it is not clear if the officer’s shot hit either of the suspects.

The gun was recovered at the scene with one round in the chamber and five more in the magazine.

“I just want to take a moment to commend the actions of this detective. He’s a 12-year veteran of the department. He spends his nights going after the worst of the worst, the most violent in our community,” said Chief of Department Kenneth E. Corey. “Those who carry and use illegal handguns against our citizens. And here he was off-duty, and once again, like so many of his colleagues, did not hesitate to go straight towards the danger, and try to help a fellow New Yorker in need.”

“This is a prime example of what New York City detectives do every day. They put their life in harm’s way, both on and off duty. There are far too many guns on the street,” said Paul DiGiacomo, President of Detectives’ Endowment Association. “New York City detectives are making record arrests for gun charges every day in New York City, and there are far too many guns on the street. And that’s why this city needs a special firearms prosecutor to prosecute these gun-related crimes.”

Police officials indicated that they are looking for three suspects, the robbers and a getaway driver, in connection to this incident. The investigation remains ongoing.

Photo by Adrian Childress