Fatal Shootout With New York Police A Family Affair

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

A 24-year old man was shot and killed by two off-duty NYPD officers early Sunday morning, but in a bizarre twist the dying man’s father grabbed his son’s pistol and fired off several rounds at the officers himself before ditching the gun and trying to make a getaway.

According to the New York Daily News, the father and son were with a group of people on a street corner in the West Bronx around 4 a.m. on Sunday when an argument broke out. The 24-year old pulled a gun and began popping off rounds, which prompted a quick response from the off-duty officers who were in the area. The police told the suspect to drop his weapon, but when he turned his fire on the officers, they responded with shots of their own, fatally striking the man in his chest.

Uniformed officers from the 46th Precinct station house a block away swarmed the area after they heard the shots.

“Immediately after shooting, the officers began rendering aid to the 24-year-old male,” NYPD Chief of Patrol, Juanita Holmes said at a press conference.

In a wild turn of events, the gunman’s 45-year-old father picked up the firearm from his dying son’s hand and began firing at cops but nobody was struck, police said. Police returned fire but the dad was not hit.

Surveillance video shows the father walking around the block, weaving between cars, then returning to the scene in hopes cops didn’t recognize him, sources said.

The father passed the gun to a nearby woman and tried to get away but cops quickly arrested him.

The dad has around 60 prior arrests on his record ranging from charges of drug possession, assault and weapon possession, a source said. His son had been arrested a handful of times for minor offenses such as aggravated driving without a license, according to sources.

“I wouldn’t say he was a bad (man) but he got into a lot of trouble,” a friend of the father said. “Sounds kind of like a father protecting his son. … It’s sad but it happened.”

No, it doesn’t sound like a father protecting his son. It sounds like a man who taught his son poorly and exercised some terrible judgement of his own after his son opened fire; first on the group of people he’d been hanging around and then the off-duty officers who responded.

Now the father’s in custody, and facing the most serious charges of his 60+ arrests. While a lot of crimes in New York City are treated by prosecutors as if they’re minor offenses, the attempted murder of two police officers isn’t likely to result in a low bond or the dad’s release on his own recognizance.

As for the woman who ended up with the gun, at last report police haven’t been able to identify her or recover the firearm, but I’m sure that Mayor Bill de Blasio will use this as an opportunity to call for more federal gun control laws aimed at responsible gun owners instead of addressing the failures of New York’s criminal justice system and parenting that this 24-year old received growing up.

City officials are doing their best to put a positive spin on the latest crime statistics, pointing out that shootings and homicides this summer are lower than they were last year. Still, more than 1,100 people have been shot in New York City through August 15th, which is about twice as high as the number of shootings in the city in 2019. Meanwhile, New York continues to make it virtually impossible for the average citizen to carry a firearm in self-defense. Hopefully the Supreme Court will strike down the state’s “may issue” carry laws when it takes up a challenge to New York’s permitting system, but for now criminals continue to have the upper hand in the Big Apple… unless they’re unlucky enough to open fire within sight of NYPD officers.