Stolen car pursuit ends with Bronx police shooting that critically injured gunman

Officers engaged in a wild Bronx gunfight with an armed suspect that ended with the perpetrator being critically injured late on Saturday night, police reported.

Police officials said the shooting was the result of a pursuit that started in Upper Manhattan after the suspect and a second individual were caught driving a reported stolen vehicle.

New NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey and Chief of Patrol John Chell outlined the events of the police shooting during an early morning press conference Sunday.

Chell said the chain of events began in Sugar Hill at around 11:45 p.m. on Dec. 3, when officers from the 30th Precinct were alerted to a vehicle break-in near the corner of Convent Avenue and West 149th Street.

But while heading to the scene, Chell noted, they observed the stolen vehicle being driven recklessly through the area. After a quick check of the license plate confirmed the vehicle had been stolen, the officers pursued the vehicle into the Bronx to the intersection of West 161st Street and Summit Avenue.

At the intersection, according to Chell, the two officers engaged the individuals inside the stolen car. One was quickly apprehended, but the other — a 39-year-old man — took off on foot toward the 161st Street footbridge across the Major Deegan Expressway. 

“At this time, members of the 30th Precinct engage this person in an exchange of gunfire,” Chell said. 

Following the initial exchange, the chief of patrol explained, the perpetrator took off across the bridge into a marshy area near the Major Deegan. The NYPD Aviation Unit was called in to to light up the area, and about 10 minutes later, they located the gunman, who Chell said again engaged officers in a second shootout.

161st Street footbridge
The 161st Street footbridge over the Major Deegan ExpresswayPhoto via Google Maps

This time, WABC-TV reported, officers struck the suspect in the head and leg. Chell didn’t confirm the nature of the injuries, but indicated that police officers acted fast to stabilize the wounded gunman.

“The man was shot, and immediately after being shot, our officers picked up the male physically and brought him up to the side of the highway (Major Deegan) to render life-saving aid,” the chief explained.

EMS brought the perpetrator to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries; according to WABC-TV, he remains in critical condition.

Two firearms that the gunman allegedly had and used in the shootout were recovered from the scene, Chell noted.

The NYPD Force Investigation Squad is looking into the shootout. Meanwhile, Chief of Department Maddrey said the shooting was yet another example of the dangerous gun violence both officers and the public face every day.

“Although gun violence is down in the city, events like this still occur, and our members are found in peril,” Maddrey said. “We’re asking communities to continuously partner with us because we still need to reduce gun violence in our city.”