By Sonja Sharp, Paul Lomax, Jeff Mays, Tom Liddy and Patrick Hedlund
HARLEM — The man shot by police during a wild gun battle in Harlem Sunday has been hit with a list of charges including criminal possession of stolen property for firing at cops using a handgun reported missing in North Carolina last year.
Franklyn Nunez, 23, was struck in the chest and thigh after opening fire on officers outside his apartment at the Drew Hamilton Houses at 2698 Frederick Douglass Blvd., near West 143rd Street, Sunday shortly before 6:30 p.m., the NYPD said.
The shooter — who has a previous conviction for weapons possession and three prior arrests, including one for assault — had been standing outside the housing complex with several other men when police approached him, cops said.
Nunez then crossed over Frederick Douglass Boulevard and walked hurriedly north as officers followed, turning at some point and firing two shots at police, the NYPD said.
One of the cops returned fire, hitting Nunez in the chest and upper left thigh, police said. He was taken to Harlem Hospital and remains in serious but stable condition.
A witness at the scene said he saw the harrowing incident unfold.
"The kid was running away. He looked real scared," said David Page, 42. "Next thing I see him freeze and that's when the cop shot him in the back."
Police, however, stated that Nunez was only struck in the chest and thigh.
A source said that the man who was shot was hopping between two cars when he was shot.
Police said a .45 caliber Colt 1911 handgun was recovered at the scene, loaded with several bullets.
Two shell casings were also recovered. Cops noted that the gun he used was reported stolen in North Carolina in 2011.
Nunez has been charged with criminal use of a firearm, assaulting a police officer, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of stolen property and disorderly conduct, police said.
A man at his apartment Monday who identified himself as the injured man’s brother said Nunez’s family has been prevented from seeing him at the hospital by police due to the ongoing investigation.
Neighbors who knew Nunez were left stunned by the incident.
“I was in shock when I heard. I love him like a brother,” said Shanenel Edmonds, 26, who said she grew up with him and that her son often plays with his young daughter.
“This is totally out of character. I don't believe he did this. I hope he'll be all right. I don't understand it."