A NYPD sergeant shot a man to death Thursday afternoon in the Bronx after a vehicle stop turned into a physical struggle, officials said — the second fatal officer-involved-shooting in less than 48 hours, and the third overall in that time.
Police did not release the name of the sergeant nor the man he shot once in the chest.
Late Thursday night, NYPD Chief Terence Monahan the investigation into the shooting was “preliminary and is subject to change.”
Monahan said three officers in a marked patrol vehicle pulled over a sport utility vehicle at about 3 p.m. near Bainbridge Avenue and East 211 Street because the driver was not wearing a seat belt.
Two officers approached the SUV, which also included a passenger, on the driver’s side, Monahan said. The sergeant approached from the passenger side. Using their department smartphones, the officers found that the driver had three open warrants and directed him to exit the vehicle so he could be placed under arrest, according to the chief.
The driver exited the SUV but as the officers attempted to take him into custody, he resisted and got back into the vehicle, Monahan said.
“While both front doors of the car were still open, the male initiated a violent struggle," he said. "The sergeant immediately deployed his Taser for multiple cycles. While it appeared to be a successful deployment, it failed to end the struggle.”
The driver shifted the SUV into drive, moving it forward and backward while the sergeant was inside, Monahan said. The SUV was then put in reverse, the chief said, and an officer on the driver’s side had to release his grip on the suspect and jump out of the way to avoid being hit by the vehicle.
“This violent struggle between the male and the officers lasted approximately one and a half minutes before the shot was fired,” Monahan said. “At this time the sergeant fired one round from his service weapon striking the male in the chest. The officers then began to render aid.”
Police said the suspect was pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.
The passenger in the SUV was unharmed, police said. The officers involved in the stop were evaluated at a hospital, police said.
Thursday’s police shooting followed a pair in the span of four hours Tuesday night into early Wednesday involving NYPD officers. Police fired at suspects, one leading to the death of a just-paroled ex-convict in Brooklyn and the other wounding an armed man in the Bronx.
In the Brooklyn shooting Tuesday night, two plainclothes anti-crime officers were patrolling about 7:55 p.m. near the Gowanus Houses when they encountered Nasheem Prioleau, 33, firing a handgun at another person on Baltic Street, police said.
At a media briefing late Tuesday, Monahan said cops immediately identified themselves as police officers and gave multiple orders for Prioleau to drop the weapon.
“At this time, both officers fired numerous rounds at the man, who was struck several times,” Monahan said.
Prioleau was taken to The Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in critical condition and later died, police said.
Monahan said the officers who fired their weapons were uninjured. A 9 mm semi-automatic Taurus handgun was recovered by officers on scene, police said.
Hours later, just after midnight in the Bronx Wednesday, officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert and 911 call about a man firing shots in the 225th Street subway station in the Gun Hill Road sections.
NYPD Assistant Chief Larry Nikunen, commander of Patrol Borough Bronx, said officers saw a man with a handgun on the southbound platform of the No. 5 IRT line.
Officers interacted with the man and then “two of the officers then fired several rounds at the suspect striking him in the shoulder,” Nikunen said.
A .380-caliber semi-automatic gun was recovered at the scene next to the suspect, identified as Richard Richard, 27, police said. Richard was taken to NYC Health + Hospitals / Jacobi for treatment and released later Wednesday into police custody, officials said.