NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City police officer and a man he was trying to arrest were both shot and killed during a struggle early Sunday in the Bronx.
The NYPD identified the slain officer as Brian Mulkeen, age 33.
The officer was shot three times, possibly with his own gun, as he grappled on the ground with a suspect who was also armed.
“We lost a hero this evening,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a glum news conference outside Jacobi Medical Center.
Mulkeen was patrolling the streets around a city apartment complex at around 12:30 a.m. as part of a unit investigating potential gang activity, Chief of Department Terence Monahan said.
Mulkeen and his partner tried to apprehend a man who had fled questioning, and a struggle on the ground ensued, Monahan said.
As the men wrestled, Mulkeen’s body camera recorded him saying “He’s reaching for it! He’s reaching for it!”
“Officer Mulkeen’s gun fired five times,” Monahan said. “At this point, it is not clear who fired Officer Mulkeen’s gun.”
Five officers fired at the 27-year-old man, who was struck and pronounced dead at the scene.
A .32-caliber revolver that police say belonged to the man was recovered. It had not been fired, Monahan said.
He hasn’t been identified, but Monahan said the man was on probation until 2022 for a narcotics-related arrest last year and had several prior arrests, including a burglary conviction in Rockland County.
Mulkeen had served nearly seven years with the department and worked out of the 47th precinct. He lived with his girlfriend, an NYPD police officer in the Bronx’s 44th precinct.
Monahan called the officer “brave,” and said he was “doing the job we asked him to do, a job that New Yorkers needed him to do.”
Mulkeen is the second NYPD officer killed in the line of duty this year. Detective Brian Simonsen was accidentally shot by fellow officers in February while confronting a robbery suspect.
“We’ve been here too often. We know the directions to get here,” Pat Lynch, the president of New York City’s Police Benevolent Association, said at the press conference. “It has to stop.”