Police investigate the scene of a raid Thursday morning in...

Police investigate the scene of a raid Thursday morning in Hempstead where a woman was shot. (May 13, 2010) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau police are investigating how a woman was shot and wounded by an officer Thursday morning while she hid in a closet during a police raid in Hempstead, authorities said.

The victim, identified as Natasha Little, 21, was shot "in the upper torso" and was in stable condition Thursday afternoon at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, according to Nassau police spokesman Det. Lt. Kevin Smith.

The shooting happened while the Nassau Police Bureau of Special Operations was securing the two-story house at 31 Lafayette Ave. for the Nassau County district attorney's office's investigative unit, which was executing a narcotics search warrant, police said.

Special operations officers found two people on the first floor and arrested them, Smith said.

The officers found two women, whom they did not arrest, and an infant on the second floor. When an officer tried to open a closet in an empty second-floor bedroom on the northwest side of the house, someone on the other side was trying to keep it shut, police said.

There was pushing and pulling until the closet door opened and a shot was fired by the officer, striking Little, police said. Little has not been charged.

Smith said he didn't know how the shot went off and he didn't want to speculate.

Jacquelyn Morgan, a nurse who lives in the house next door, said she heard police between 6:15 to 6:30 a.m. knocking down doors and shouting "Get down." She said she also heard a lot of screaming.

"Then you hear a shot," she said.

Morgan said she saw Little being taken out of the house on a stretcher.

Authorities obtained a search warrant after a six-month investigation "revealed narcotic activity at that residence," said Carole Trottere, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, in an e-mail.

The district attorney's office identified the two suspects in custody as Reginald Lecator and Stephanie Swaan.

Lecator was charged with four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and four counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, police said.

Swaan was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia, police said.

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