BROOKLYN — Two police officers were hurt and a man was killed when a gunfight erupted in a subway car at a Brooklyn train station Thursday night, police said.
The gun battle came just an hour after an off-duty police officer was shot in The Bronx when he tried to stop a robbery at his family's used car dealership on Boston Road. He is expected to survive.
In the Brooklyn incident, two plainclothes transit cops were patrolling a Manhattan-bound N train that was nearing the Fort Hamilton Parkway station, at Fort Hamilton Parkway and 62nd Street, about 7:30 p.m., when they spotted a man walking between train cars, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
The man sat down in the third car of the train, and as the train entered the station, the officers approached him to ask for his identification, Kelly said.
"The male stood up as if to comply with the officers, and appeared to reach for his wallet," Kelly told reporters late Thursday. "Instead, he pulled a 9-millimeter Taurus handgun from his waistband and opened fire."
Officer Lukasz Kozicki, 32, was struck in both legs and in the groin, while Officer Michael Levay, 27, was hit in the back, where he was protected by his bulletproof vest, Kelly said. The gunman appeared to be deliberately aiming low after noticing the officers' bulletproof vests, Kelly said.
Levay returned fire, killing the suspect, Kelly said.
The suspect's name has been withheld until his family has been notified.
But police said he had a long rap sheet, including arrests in New York, in which he was busted for theft of service and assault. In Los Angeles, too, the suspect was arrested for attempted robbery and criminal possession of a deadly weapon, police added.
One civilian also suffered a graze wound to the leg in the shootout, Kelly said.
At a press conference Thursday evening, Bloomberg spoke out against the violence and repeated his frequent calls for improved gun control.
"In recent weeks, we've heard some people say that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," Bloomberg said. "But sometimes the good guys get shot — and sometimes, they are killed.
"Tonight, thank God, three good guys — three New York City police officers, who acted heroically — are going to make it. But we owe it to the good guys to do whatever we can to protect them — just as they do whatever they can to protect us. Instead, Washington is letting the bad guys shoot our police officers, our children, our neighbors — and it just has to stop."
In the Brooklyn subway shooting, witnesses described a scene of panic as the shots rang out on the train. Straphangers went running from the train onto the platform, and some tripped and fell as they sought shelter, witnesses said.
A former EMS worker who was in the first car of the train said he raced out to see two people lying on the platform: Kozicki and the suspect.
The 25-year-old EMS worker, who declined to give his name, said he offered his services to a plainclothes police officer who was standing nearby, who asked him to tend to the fallen cop.
"Please help him out as much as possible," the man, a Bensonhurst resident, recalled the officer telling him.
The man said he did what he could to help the injured cop.
"I was trying to keep him conscious," he said. "He was shaking because of shock."
The suspect was lying face-down just a few feet away from where the officer fell, the man said.
The shootings follow a year in which 12 NYPD police officers were shot, Bloomberg told reporters in October after an off-duty officer was shot after stopping a robbery in The Bronx.