Off-duty NYPD lieutenant critically wounded in shootout with muggers outside Queens nightclub
An off-duty NYPD lieutenant exiting a Queens nightclub was critically injured in a wild shootout where he shot two of three ski-masked robbers, killing one of his assailants early Thursday, police said.
The lieutenant, struck hit in the torso and leg, was in critical but stable condition at Elmhurst Hospital. He was conscious and alert, with police sources indicating his wounds were not believed to be life threatening after the fierce gun battle where 17 shots were fired in the darkness.
A 20-year-old would-be mugger was struck in the chest and stomach in the gunfight outside La Boom in Woodside and died at Elmhurst Hospital. The other two crooks fled the scene, perhaps in a car, police said — with one later located wounded in a Bronx hospital, sources said.
“We believe these individuals were attempting to rob the officer, possibly of jewelry the officer was wearing,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a press conference at Elmhurst Hospital. “Moments later there was an exchange of gunfire between the officer and at least one of the perpetrators.”
The 15-year NYPD veteran was walking to his Jaguar parked outside the club on Northern Blvd. near 57th St. in Woodside when confronted by the trio just before 3:10 a.m., authorities said. He was visiting the club after finishing his night shift in Brooklyn at midnight.
“He has multiple gunshot wounds,” said Shea. “He is lucky to be alive.”
The off-duty lieutenant fired eight shots, sources said, while the crooks fired nine.
The slain mugger’s weapon, a semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine, was recovered at the scene. A police source said the magazine can hold up to 30 bullets.
Cops are trying to determine if the shooting is linked to a citywide pattern, spearheaded by the Trinitarios gang, of violent armed robberies targeting club and restaurant patrons for their pricey jewelry.
Police body cam footage from arriving officers shows that FDNY medics saved the cop’s life, Shea said.
“This officer had minutes to live,” said Lou Turco, head of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association.
A source said the shot cop was still wearing a gold chain after the shooting and investigators were trying to determine if any jewelry was stolen.
“As soon as we heard the first shot we all ducked,” recalled Andrew Eagle, an EMT assistant who was working outside the club, to NBC4 New York.
Eagle raced to help the shot cop before FDNY medics quickly arrived. “I applied pressure on the wound to make sure it stopped bleeding,” he said.
The mugger who was fatally shot has one prior arrest in New York City. He was charged with assault in Manhattan’s 1st Precinct on Feb. 19, 2020.
Clubgoer Clarissa Ramos was watching rapper Myke Towers perform inside the club when the shooting happened outside.
“I didn’t hear the shots or nothing but they escorted the celebrity out the back,” Ramos told NBC4 New York. “They just told us that we had to leave, that something was going on.”