INWOOD, Manhattan (PIX11) – A major drug bust led to a shootout between a suspect and authorities in Inwood Friday night, police said.

Heavily armored vehicles rolled into the Upper Manhattan neighborhood in response to the gunfire on Vermilyea Avenue. Law enforcement with the New York Federal Task Force attempted to arrest two men in a first-floor apartment when they came under fire, according to officials.

“Members of the task force were able to apprehend one male and returned fire at the other male,” NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said.

The task force – made up of members from the NYPD, State Police and Drug Enforcement Administration – retreated to the street as the second suspect was believed to be still barricaded inside. Hostage negotiators were called in.

(Credit: NYPD)

“Our units tried to make contact and after some time they were able to get a look inside and saw him lying down on the floor,” Maddrey said.

The suspect was found dead inside the apartment with a gun next to his body, police said. Two firearms were recovered at the scene, according to the NYPD.

When asked to clarify the circumstances of the operation, NYPD officials would only say it was a significant narcotics investigation. Drugs recovered at the scene will be sent to a lab for analysis to determine the chemical makeup of the substance, federal law enforcement sources told PIX11 News.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino in a statement told PIX11 News:

On Nov. 18, 2022, Members of the New York Strike Force conducted an enforcement operation at 72 Vermilyea Avenue as part of an ongoing drug investigation when the shooting occurred. As the investigation unfolds, DEA will not make any comments other than to say this is another example of the link between drugs and gun violence and should serve as a reminder of the danger law enforcement encounters every day while underscoring DEA‘s important mission of safeguarding the safety and health of Americans.

The identities of the two suspects were not immediately released by authorities. Charges were expected to be filed against the surviving suspect, officials said.