By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — An East Harlem teen shot during a gunfight with police said he fired several rounds into the air to "scare off" officers who were chasing him as he fled, according to his criminal complaint.
Prosecutors said Matthew Melendez, 18, was shot by the officers and remained at Harlem hospital prior to his Manhattan Criminal Court arraignment on Monday, when he was ordered held without bail.
The officers heard gunfire while they were canvassing the area and saw Melendez sprinting away, near Lexington Avenue and East 120th Street at about 3:15 a.m. on Jan. 30, prosecutors said.
Police said Melendez fired three rounds at the officers, although the third remained stuck in the chamber of the gun.
The officers returned fire with a total of 13 rounds, leaving Melendez with eight bullet wounds in his body, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said after the incident.
None of the officers was hit, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
When Melendez realized he'd been shot he dropped his 9 mm handgun and fell to the ground. He later told police he had intended to "pistol whip" a man who abused his child's mother with the weapon, they said.
He was charged with attempted murder and weapons possession.
It remains unclear how many of Melendez' wounds were entry wounds and which were exit wounds.
Melendez's Legal Aid Attorney could not be reached for comment. Melendez is next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 24.