NYPD narcotics bust in Inwood turns into gunfight, leaving one perp dead

An NYPD drug bust turned into a deadly firefight between police and suspects in Inwood on Friday night, leaving one gunman dead, police reported.

According to Chief of Patrol Jeffery Maddrey, the New York Federal Task Force — comprised of NYPD members, federal Drug Enforcement Agency agents, and State Police officers — moved to carry out a narcotics operation at 72 Vermilyea Ave. at around 8:41 p.m. on Nov. 18 and attempted to place two men under arrest. However, as Maddrey reported, things swiftly spiraled out of control.

“As the members of the task force tried to make the apprehension, at least one of the males pulled a gun on them and fired at them,” Chief Maddrey said.

Despite the ensuing chaos, law enforcement subdued and arrested one of the suspects while also returning fire at the gunman before retreating outside.

Officers surrounded the apartment building, ensuring that the armed individual was unable to leave while also waiting for backup from Emergency Service Units and hostage negotiation teams, Chief Maddrey confirmed. Police said the trigger-happy man instead barricaded himself inside the building.   

“Our units tried to make contact and after some time when they were unable to make contact, they were able to get a look inside and they saw the male lying down on the floor,” Chief Maddrey said.

Emergency Service Units made their way into the apartment and discovered the suspect dead, still clutching a gun. The individual apparently perished from a gunshot wound, yet police officials have yet to clarify if the this was self-inflicted or a result of the previous firefight.

Two handguns were recovered from the scene and the surviving suspect was brought to the 34th Precinct for further questioning.

NYPD gunfight weapons seized
The handguns that police recoveredPhoto courtesy of NYPD

Although police were not struck by gunfire, several members of law enforcement were transported to a local hospital for observation.

Officials also have yet to comment on what, if any, drugs were uncovered.

Maddrey stressed that the investigation is still ongoing, and more information will become available in the coming hours and days.