A New York City police sergeant was fatally shot and another was wounded on Friday in a shootout on the streets of the Bronx that also resulted in the death of the suspect, a man who had just broken into the apartment of his estranged wife.
The officers were responding to a call about the break-in and encountered the suspect’s vehicle about half a mile (1 km) away where the man opened fire with a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, Police Commissioner James O’Neill told a news conference.
An exchange of gunfire resulted with the suspect being pronounced dead at the scene while the officers were taken to the hospital, he said.
Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo, a 19-year veteran of the force and father of two young children, was pronounced dead at the hospital. The wounded officer, 9-year veteran Emmanuel Kwo, was shot in the leg and was in stable condition, O’Neill said.
“The city is in mourning and the family of the NYPD is in mourning,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters about an hour after informing the officer’s wife and parents of his death.
The dead suspect, identified as Manuel Rosales, had a record of at least 17 prior arrests, O’Neill said. He had forced his way into the home of his 29-year-old estranged wife while their 3-year-old son was present, O’Neill said.
A 13-year-old child and a 50-year-old woman were also at the home, he said.
Tuozzolo became the first New York City police officer killed while on duty since October 2015. Kwo was taken to the same hospital, where he was informed his colleague had died.
“He’s devastated, as we all are,” O’Neill said.
Upon encountering the suspect’s red Jeep, police rammed the vehicle with their patrol car, the New York Daily News and other media reported, citing unnamed police sources. O’Neill declined to describe the events because the investigation was ongoing.
One officer approached the vehicle and was shot in the face by the suspect, The New York Times reported. The other officer returned fire and killed the suspect, the Times said.
The last NYPD officer killed in the line of duty was Detective Randolph Holder, who was shot while pursuing an armed suspect in the Harlem section of Manhattan in October 2015, according to Officer Down Memorial Page.
(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Writing by Daniel Trotta and Frank McGurty; Editing by Toni Reinhold, Leslie Adler and Andrew Hay