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THE BRONX, N.Y. — Police shot a man in the Bronx early Sunday morning after he opened fire on officers, according to the NYPD.

Police Chief Terence Monahan said a uniformed sergeant and two officers were in a vehicle on patrol around 12:35 a.m. when they saw two men spraying graffiti on Elton Avenue near East 153rd Street. The men ran when the officers got out of the car and tried to approach them, Monahan said.

After a brief foot chase, one of the officers caught up with one of the suspects and attempted to arrest him, according to the chief. That’s when the suspect pulled out a gun and fired at least three shots, Monahan said.

All three officers fired back, striking the man several times. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition. No officers were hurt.

The second suspect remained on the loose Sunday morning.

“Tonight’s shooting underscores the dangers our brave cops face every day as they keep people safe,” Monahan said during a news conference early Sunday morning. “Whether they are stopping someone who is making graffiti or responding to a known shooting — there are too many guns on the streets of New York City.”

A .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered at the scene.

Monahan said footage from the body-worn cameras of the officers and sergeant was reviewed by him as well as the NYPD’s Force Investigation Division.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).