NEW YORK (AP) — It was a night of mayhem for three New York Police Department officers who were wounded in two separate shooting incidents in Brooklyn and the Bronx on Thursday, authorities said.
The Brooklyn shooting, which left a suspect dead, took place at about 7:30 p.m. at the Fort Hamilton Parkway subway station at 62nd Street, according to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Two plainclothes officers assigned to Transit District 34, Michael Levay and Lukasz Kozicki, were on patrol when they observed a man moving between cars, a violation of transit regulations, Kelly said.
The commissioner said that in the past police have found that "people who are looking to commit crimes will walk through the cars."
As the train approached the station, Kelly said the officers approached the man, who was sitting down, and asked him for his identification.
The man stood up and appeared to reach for his wallet, but instead "pulled a 9-millimeter Taurus handgun from his waistband and opened fire," Kelly said.
Kozicki, 32, was struck three times, once in each of his upper thighs and once in the groin. Levay, 27, was shot in the lower back, but his vest stopped the bullet. Kelly said he managed to return fire, killing the suspect. A passenger in the same car was grazed in the leg. No one else was injured.
"A witness said that the gunman appeared to notice the officer's bullet-resistant vest, and, as a result, aimed low before he fired," Kelly said.
Kelly said Levay has a welt on his back and investigators believe the bullet may still be in the vest.
The dead suspect's identity was not released, but Kelly said he had at least five arrests, one for assault with a knife.
Both officers were listed in stable condition at Lutheran Hospital, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
An hour earlier in the Bronx, officer Juan Pichardo was working off-duty at his family's car dealership, when two men, one armed with a handgun, entered the dealership while two other men waited outside in a getaway car, Kelly said.
After the two feigned interest in buying a car, one of them pulled out a .380 handgun and ordered Pichardo and an employee onto the floor in a back office and started to ransack the place.
"A few minutes after the robbery, Officer Pichardo stood up and grabbed the gunman, who fired, striking the officer in the right thigh," Kelly said.
Although wounded, Pichardo and the other employee wrestled the gunman to the ground and disarmed him. His accomplice fled in the getaway car with the two others, but they were stopped a short distance away and arrested.
Kelly said Pichardo had recognized the gunman as a member of a Bronx robbery crew. The suspect's gun was reported stolen from North Carolina in Dec. 2012, he said.
Bloomberg said Pichardo is in stable condition at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.
"Tonight, we're just grateful that these three officers will be going home to their families," the mayor said, adding that the officers were in "good moods."
In 2012, 11 police officers were shot while on duty and one was shot while off-duty, none of them fatal, according to police.