QUEENS — An off-duty federal agent shot a robbery suspect in the back in South Ozone Park early Tuesday, sources said.
The agent, whose identity has not been released, called 911 at 5:15 a.m. to report a group of young men trying to steal a car at Sutter Avenue and 130th Street, sources said.
That's when the agent confronted the suspects and, a short time, fired at the suspects.
"I was tending to my dogs, then I heard the gunshot," said Jose Mercado, 67, a retired elevator mechanic who has lived in the area for nearly 40 years.
One of the suspects was hit in the back, police said. The FDNY said no one was transported to any hospitals from that scene, but cops caught up to the suspect at Brookdale Hospital.
He was stable, police said. He has not been charged or identified.
An FBI spokeswoman only confirmed that an FBI agent was involved in a shooting in the neighborhood.
Detectives were investigating a red Lexus at the scene, but authorities could not confirm if that was vehicle the robbers targeted.
Meanwhile, locals were stunned to find out that the quiet family man living in the two-story house was actually an FBI agent.
"They moved here...a couple of years ago," said Mel Rice, 36, who has lived in the neighborhood his whole life. "And I only found that he's an agent [Wednesday]."
The eruption of gunfire was nothing new to the gritty neighborhood, residents said.
"Over here, you hear firecrackers and gunshots all the time. This is not a safe neighborhood," Mercado said. "During the nighttime you cannot walk around here, I'm telling you."
Joan Henry-Brown, a benefits administrator who has lived on the block since 2001, said she will think twice about working late hours.
"I grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant and I never felt afraid," Henry-Brown, who said her GPS was stolen from her car a few years ago, recalled. "And this is supposedly a safer area."