NYPD officer killed by friendly fire during Bronx shootout, police say

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Officials: NYPD officer killed, suspect dead after Bronx shootout

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A New York police officer who died Sunday after being shot while wrestling with an armed man in the Bronx was fatally struck by bullets shot by his fellow officers, authorities said Monday.

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Police said Officer Brian Mulkeen, 33, died early Sunday. His death was the second in the NYPD this year attributed to friendly fire, according to The Associated Press.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 3:50 p.m. EDT Sept. 30: Police Commissioner James O'Neill said Officer Brian Mulkeen died Sunday after he was injured by friendly fire while struggling with an armed man.

"This is a tragic case of friendly fire, but make so mistake, we lost the life of a courageous public servant solely due to a violent criminal who put the lives of the police and all the people we serve in jeopardy," O'Neill said Monday at a news conference.

Authorities said Mulkeen was on a routine patrol just after midnight Sunday when officers tried to stop two men, including 27-year-old Antonio Williams. Police said Williams ran and police pursued him before officers opened fire.

Investigators had previously suggested that Williams had wrested the officer's gun away as the pair struggled on the ground, saying body camera video had recorded Mulkeen saying, "He's reaching for it!" But police said Monday that Mulkeen retained control of his gun and fired several shots during the encounter.

O'Neil said police recovered a.32-caliber revolver belonging to Williams from the scene, but tests showed the gun hadn't been fired.

Mulkeen's death was the second in the NYPD this year attributed to friendly fire after the February death of Detective Brian Simonsen, according to The Associated Press

Update 7:33 a.m. EDT Sept. 30: Multiple news outlets have identified the suspect involved in a deadly shootout with New York police early Sunday.

According to WABC and WNBC, officers shot and killed Antonio Williams, 27, of Binghamton, after NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen died in a struggle with the suspect in the Bronx, police sources told the outlets.

Original report: NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen, 33, was fatally shot about 12:30 a.m. Sunday "while doing the courageous work NYers needed him to do," police Commissioner James P. O'Neill tweeted just after 4:30 a.m.

"He served for nearly seven years," O'Neill wrote. "There is no worse a moment in our profession than this."

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan told WABC Mulkeen was assigned to the area near an apartment complex where gang activity and shootings were recently reported. Mulkeen and other officers approached the suspect for questioning and the suspect ran on foot, Monahan said.

"A violent struggle on the ground began," Monahan said. "On the body-worn camera, Officer Mulkeen can be heard yelling 'He's reaching for it, he's reaching for it.'"

According to WCBS, the shootout occurred near East 229th Street and Laconia Avenue in Edenwald. Emergency responders rushed an injured Mulkeen to a nearby hospital, and police later confirmed he had died, the outlet reported. The suspect, identified only as a 27-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

"At this point it does not appear that the perpetrator's gun was the one that fired," Monahan told WABC. "Officer Mulkeen's gun fired five times. At this point, we are not sure who fired Officer Mulkeen's gun."

Monahan said the suspect was on probation for a narcotics-related arrest last year and had several prior arrests.

In an early morning news conference, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Mulkeen a hero.

"We lost a hero by every measure," he said, according to WCBS. "We lost a hero."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.