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Police fatally shot a man in the Bronx, officials say


Bronx police officers killed a man they believe shot them with an air pistol Friday night, the second fatal encounter in the borough in four days.

The confrontation that led to the shooting occurred around 7 p.m. near the intersection of Seneca and Hunts Point avenues in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, officials said.

Undercover narcotics detectives working in the area said they overheard an argument in which a man said he was going to his car to retrieve a gun, according to an account given by Deputy Chief Philip Rivera during a press conference around 10 p.m.

The man returned in a van and drove out at the corner of the avenues as a detective approached him wearing a vest emblazoned with the word “police”, the officer said. Another detective shouted, “Police, hold still,” according to Deputy Chief Rivera’s account of the incident.

The man fired what Deputy Chief Rivera said was a so-called airsoft gun, narrowly missing a detective’s head from about 15 feet away. The gun “looks like a semi-automatic firearm,” he said.

Officers fired 10 shots at the man, hitting him five times. He died at Lincoln Medical Center, Deputy Chief Rivera said.

Police did not say whether video of the shooting was recorded. They released a photograph of the air gun.

None of the officers involved in the shooting were hit, officials said. They were taken to Jacobi Medical Center for treatment for ringing in the ears, where Mayor Eric Adams visited them, according to a city hall spokesperson.

Friday’s shooting came after officers fatally shot a 25-year-old man in the Claremont section of the Bronx on Tuesday. Officials said the man fired twice as officers chased him, hitting one in the arm. The injured officer left the hospital a few hours later.

The officer injured in that shooting, which is being investigated by the police department’s Law Enforcement Investigations Division and the state attorney general’s office, was just the latest to having been shot this year.

In the most serious incident of its kind, two police officers were killed in January after they were shot in a Harlem apartment while responding to a call about a mother and son fighting.

Earlier that month, an officer was hospitalized after being shot while sleeping in a car outside an East Harlem train station, and another officer was hit by a bullet during a confrontation with a teenager suspect in the Bronx.

The shootings of officers and others are among the most high-profile examples of a spike in gun violence that arrived with the pandemic, persisted throughout it, and remains high on Mr. Adams’ agenda. to improve public safety.

The surge, part of a larger national trend, has been most acute in neighborhoods like the South Bronx that are home to many poor and working-class black and Hispanic residents and have long been plagued by shootings. .

The police shooting deaths in January prompted Mr Adams to follow through on an important campaign promise by introducing a revamped version of a specialist police unit focused on getting guns off the streets.

The new incarnation of the unit – which was disbanded in 2020 in recognition by police officials that it had sown tensions between officers and the people they serve – began operating last month . Critics have raised doubts as to whether the new unit is an improvement over its predecessor.

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