EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) — An off-duty NYPD officer opened fire on a pair of robbers Monday morning in East Harlem, according to police.
The victim, who works in the area, was walking at East 122nd Street and Park Avenue when a tan SUV pulled up around 11:15 a.m. Two men wearing black masks and black hoods hopped out, NYPD Chief Kenneth Corey said. An off-duty detective with the firearm suppression division spotted the robbers as they took cash and a watch from the victim.
The officer drew his gun, identified himself to the robbers and told the suspects not to move, Corey said. One of the suspects turned toward the 12-year NYPD veteran, firearm in hand. The detective fired one shot. An NYPD spokesperson said that it was unclear whether the robbers were struck, but sources told PIX11 News that at least one of them was.
The crooks fled with their haul of cash and jewelry in a tan SUV, police said. Police said the SUV has Florida plates, 8814AR. The GMC Terrain SUV was last seen heading over the Willis Avenue Bridge in the Bronx.
The suspects left the firearm, a Smith and Wesson, behind. The loaded gun was recovered at the scene.
The robbery victim, 25, was not injured, police said. The officer was taken to an area hospital for tinnitus, authorities said.
“He spends his nights going after the worst of the worst, the most violent in our community,” Corey said. “Here he was, off duty, and once again, like so many of his colleagues, did not hesitate to go straight toward the danger.”