A would-be robber threatened a bank employee with a steak knife in one of the busiest spots in Manhattan , but his escape was halted by a police officer's bullet that sent pedestrians ducking for cover, police and witnesses said.
Uniformed police officers followed the 69-year-old man as he fled from the Chase bank branch located right next to entrances to Madison Square Garden and Penn Station and shot him in the leg after he refused several orders to drop the knife, police said.
The shooting happened in front of an Amtrak loading dock, down the block from a heavily trafficked stretch of street. The man was taken to a hospital, where he was in stable condition, conscious and speaking to doctors, police said.
New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said the man had entered the bank and demanded $50 and $100 bills from a customer service representative. After she told him she didn't have any money, he repeated the demand while brandishing the steak knife, Browne said.
When a bank manager approached, the man walked out. The manager followed him and alerted two officers in a parked patrol car, who followed the man into Penn Station and up an escalator to a less crowded area, Browne said. There, they confronted him and ordered him to drop the knife, he said.
Browne said the man refused several orders to drop the weapon and continued to walk away. One of the officers fired twice, striking him in the right thigh. The man was carrying identification indicating he had been a federal inmate, Browne said.
After the shooting, police tape enclosed the bank, and authorities closed off much of the block where the shooting took place.