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Retired Officer Shoots Landlord in Head Before Police Standoff, NYPD Says

By  Janon Fisher and Ben Fractenberg | March 6, 2017 3:57pm | Updated on March 7, 2017 8:13am

 Armored vehicles and police in bulletproof vests converged on 185 Greenpoint Ave. Monday afternoon after a man was shot.
Armored vehicles and police in bulletproof vests converged on 185 Greenpoint Ave. Monday afternoon after a man was shot.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

GREENPOINT — A retired NYPD officer shot his landlord in the head Monday afternoon on Greenpoint Avenue, leading to a two-hour standoff with police before he was arrested, according to the NYPD.

Officers converged at 185 Greenpoint Ave. at 2:35 p.m. after receiving a 911 call that someone had been shot, finding Joseph Stepinski, 45, on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to the head, police said.

The gunman, Gene Barrett, 51, grabbed something of Stepinski's and then went back inside for the standoff, police said.

Stepinski was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition, NYPD Deputy Chief Michael Kemper said. A source said he was on life support.

Barrett was arrested for attempted murder, robbery and burglary before 4:30 p.m. without further violence, police said.

Barrett, who served on the NYPD from August 1993 until he retired on a disability pension in August 2002, hadn't been arraigned as of Tuesday morning, records show.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Stephen Davis originally said the victim had died, but his condition was revised at a press conference early Monday evening.

A motive has not yet been determined, and two guns were recovered from the scene, he added. 

At the scene, police officers with their guns drawn sought cover in the Kimchee Market several doors away as the gunman remained barricaded at the address.

An officer with his gun drawn at the scene of the standoff (Credit: Jared Friedman)

Officers started a dialog with the shooter, and he came out of the building voluntarily before being taken into custody, Kemper said.

Kimchee Market assistant manager Jared Friedman said he heard police talking about a man with a gun.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said. "It's alarming."

He said the market allowed police through the back door and that the people inside the shop were eventually evacuated.

An armored vehicle and police in riot gear were brought in to assist in the negotiation with the gunman, and Greenpoint Avenue was shut down between Metropolitan and McGuinness avenues.