Police shot and killed a man in the Bronx on Friday night after he fired a shot at a plainclothes detective with an airsoft pistol, authorities said.
The shooting unfolded after a narcotics detective, conducting an unrelated investigation with other cops near Seneca Avenue and Hunts Point Avenue, overheard a man among a group of people arguing say he was going to retrieve a gun from his truck at about 7 p.m., police said.
The detective notified other investigators near the scene and police later spotted the 51-year-old man exiting the vehicle with the pistol.
As the suspect was walking on the sidewalk, he was confronted by one of the plainclothes detectives, who yelled “’Police, don’t move!’” NYPD Assistant Chief Philip Rivera said at a press conference from the scene.
But instead of complying, the suspect raised his gun and fired off one shot, “just missing the detective’s head,” said Rivera.
The detective and a sergeant then returned fire 10 times, striking the man five times in the torso, police said.
The suspect was taken to Lincoln Hospital where he later died.
The cops who opened fire were taken to Jacobi Medical Center for tinnitus, sources said.
Police said the man’s Byrna HD airsoft pistol was recovered from the scene.
Deputy Chief Timothy McCormack held up a photo of the gun at the press conference and noted how it resembles a “semi-automatic firearm.”
The slain suspect had ten prior arrests, seven of them for felonies, police said. He was convicted of felony assault in 1988, according to the NYPD.
William Rosario, 46, who lives across the street from the shooting, said he saw first responders aiding the suspect.
“They were putting pressure and he was heaving,” said Rosario. “He looked dead,” he said about the gunman.
Rosario also decried the violence, which he said is getting out of hand in the Hunts Point neighborhood.
“This is just crazy. It gets worse and worse,” said Rosario. “I feel afraid for my kids, my family and my wife. It’s scary.”
Friday night’s gunfire marked the second police involved shooting in the borough in just three days.
Officer Dennis Vargas, 32, was shot in the arm Tuesday night during a shootout with a suspect in the Claremont section, officials said.
Vargas and his partner had chased after a man that they believed was carrying a gun, and the suspect turned around and opened fire on the cops after running for a block and a half, police said.
The injured officer was expected to recover. The suspect, a homeless man who was awaiting sentencing for a weapons charge, was in critical condition after being shot by police.
Additional reporting by Tina Moore