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Cops: Man shoots self after standoff with police in parking lot

Crime scene where police say a man barricaded

Crime scene where police say a man barricaded himself in the parking lot of a Farmingdale restaurant, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. Credit: Ellen Yan

After a four-hour standoff with police, a man emerged from his vehicle in the parking lot of an East Farmingdale restaurant Monday night and shot himself in the shoulder, Suffolk County police said.

Police said they learned the man might be a danger when his girlfriend called them from a hospital Monday afternoon and said she was shot when she tried to grab the gun from him.

The man, Franco Pinan-Solorzano, 22, of Copiague, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip and was in stable condition, police said.

He was charged with second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

The 37-year-old Huntington Station woman, whose identity was not released, was in her car with her boyfriend in the parking lot of Black Forest Brew Haus when he threatened to hurt himself, police said.

She tried to get the gun away from him, but it went off in a struggle and she was hit in the right hand and right hip, police said.

She went to Huntington Hospital and the man went to his vehicle, which was in the same parking lot at New Highway and Smith Street, just south of the Farmingdale border, police said.

“While at the hospital, the woman notified officers that her 22-year-old boyfriend was threatening to injure himself,” police said Tuesday in a news release.

Officers went to the parking lot and found Pinan-Solorzano, armed with a handgun, in his vehicle at 4:20 p.m., police said.

The ensuing standoff forced the restaurant and nearby businesses to go on lockdown as police blocked the streets and emergency service officers set up on the restaurant’s roof.

Pinan-Solorzano man got out of his vehicle and shot himself in the right shoulder about 8 p.m., police said.

Waitress Christine Schementi said she walked out at the end of her shift at the restaurant and saw three officers with guns drawn and pointed at a blue sedan.

“It was just unreal,” Schementi said, adding that she asked herself, “Was this really happening right now?”

The officers shouted at her to get back inside, where she alerted her boss and co-workers about the parking lot confrontation.

In the four hours after the stalemate started between the gunman and the officers, eight restaurant workers and seven customers were stuck inside the restaurant, employees there said. Officers who entered the restaurant told them the man had a gun pointed to his head or chest, the employees said.

An Uber driver tried to drop off diners, restaurant employees said, and when the driver learned of the situation, she said she would pray for the people inside the restaurant.

Schementi said she also prayed.

“I’m just leaving it up to God, praying for everybody,” the waitress said, “especially him,” referring to the gunman.

Most of the patrons were calm, eating and drinking, courtesy of the restaurant, employees said, and most inside were not too worried about their safety because of the large police presence.

But they were glad to go home about 8:30 p.m.

“This is insane,” said bartender Kristi Cuite as she prepared to leave. “We’re all grateful he didn’t come inside.”

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