GRAVESEND — Police fatally shot a man after he tried to escape from a house he was burglarizing in Gravesend on Monday evening, NYPD officials said. Another suspect also fled the scene before police arrived and was still at large Tuesday.
The burglars were breaking into a house on 78th Street between Bay Parkway and Stillwell Avenue a little after 6:30 p.m., police said. There were seven people and an infant in the home and someone called 911 to alert authorities.
"Upon arrival, they alerted back-up units the male was fleeing toward the rear of the building," said NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill. "The suspect was observed exiting the window and descending the fire escape."
The 39-year-old suspect jumped a fence on Stillwell Avenue, and then pointed a revolver at a uniformed sergeant who was responding to the crime, according to police. The sergeant and another officer fired, striking him twice.
He was so close to the officers that one of them was able to push away the gun before shooting him, O'Neill said.
The man was taken to Coney Island Hospital where he later died, officials said. It was not immediately clear if he fired his weapon before the officers shot him.
None of the people in the apartment was injured.
The second suspect was described as a heavyset man in his 30s, wearing a "construction-type helmet."
The police department tweeted a photo of a gun recovered at the scene of the shooting.
Diana Messina, 32, lives on 78th Street and said the gunshots, "sounded like a firework. I came out to all this. Then I ran inside to shut my window because I was scared."
Alana Turco, 21, lives one block away from the shooting. "Every day this week, something happens, a different shooting," she said.
The shooting happened around the same time as a planned candlelight vigil at Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza aimed at improving the relationship between police and the public following several deadly shootings by police of unarmed black men in New York City and nationwide.