An off-duty Nassau cop (right) points his gun at the...

An off-duty Nassau cop (right) points his gun at the alleged robber (not pictured) of the Liberty Gas Station at Stone Street and Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont. He shot and wounded the fleeing subject. police said. The attendant of the gas station is on left pointing towards the robber. (October 5, 2011) Credit: Gas station surveillance video

A Queens man shot by an off-duty Nassau County police officer after a gas station robbery in Elmont faces robbery and weapons charges, police said Thursday.

Police said Steven B. Thomas, 24, of 166th Place in Jamaica, robbed the Liberty gas station on Hempstead Turnpike on Wednesday morning.

Police said the off-duty cop fired at the suspect outside the gas station after the suspect pointed what they later said was a simulated handgun at him.

Thomas suffered non-life-threatening injuries and has been charged with second-degree robbery and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

He remained hospitalized Thursday and authorities said he faces arraignment as soon as is "medically practical."

The identity of the officer has not been released.

Surveillance footage shows the encounter, which began around 7:05 a.m. inside the gas station convenience store when a hooded man walked around the counter and pointed what looked like a pistol at the cashier's head.

The man addressed the cashier with an expletive and told him to "give me all the money or I'll kill you," the cashier, Abdul Mannan, told Newsday.

Mannan put his hands up and stood back while the man rifled a cash drawer, spilling dollars on the floor.

When the man left the shop, Mannan said he followed, shouting, "Please, please, somebody robbed me!"

Surveillance footage shows the man walking casually across the parking lot before moving out of the camera's range. Then, the off-duty officer, dressed in jeans and sneakers, enters the picture.

The footage shows him pursuing the suspect until the officer lowers into a shooting crouch. According to Mannan, the officer shouted, "Stop! Stop! Stop!"

Police said the suspect turned and pointed his weapon at the officer, who then fired.

Officials would not say how many shots were fired. Mannan said the officer fired twice.

The wounded suspect, now identified as Thomas, fled and was later found by officers hiding in a parked car, police said. He had been hit once. Police did not give more details on his injuries.

Police recovered the man's weapon. They described it as a simulated handgun, possibly a BB gun.

"He did a great job," Mannan said of the officer.

With Gary Dymski

Latest videos


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months