A Suffolk police officer shot a man at a Dunkin' Donuts in West Babylon Wednesday afternoon after the man intervened between officers and a woman who was reported to be acting suicidal, officials said.
Det. Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky described the woman as being in a "highly agitated state" as three officers tried to subdue her. A 27-year-old man, an acquaintance of the woman, entered the store and threw an object at the officers, believed to be a backpack. One officer fired twice at the man, striking him one time in the abdomen, Pelkofsky said.
Police said it was still unclear why the officer fired. The officers were not hurt, although one of them was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Police received a 911 call from a West Babylon doctor's office in which the caller said a distressed woman with mental illness had left the office. Arriving First Precinct officers located the unidentified woman, age 30, in the doughnut shop near the office around 4 p.m. and tried to take her into custody, said Suffolk County Police Chief of Patrol Nicholas Mango, who said shop workers indicated the woman was acting suicidal.
As she struggled with police, the man entered the store, police said. An altercation ensued, culminating with the shooting.
The man was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital for surgery; his condition was unknown.
Suffolk police said last night that the investigation was ongoing and that they were interviewing witnesses. No charges have been filed and the woman remained at the First Precinct last night.
Homicide detectives will look into the incident, while investigators with the Suffolk district attorney's office and Internal Affairs detectives will look at whether the officers followed proper procedure and the law during the shooting.
The shooting took place at the Dunkin' Donuts directly across the street from West Babylon High School on Route 109.
With Rachel Bryson-Brockmann