Two U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were shot Monday afternoon when a gun battle erupted in a Greenwich Village smoke shop as the officers tried to apprehend an accused child molester, authorities said. The suspect was killed in the shootout.
The officers were shot shortly after 1 p.m. in Smoking Culture, a smoke shop on West Fourth Street, where officers were acting on tip that the fugitive was working there. The detective went in the store between Jones and Cornelia streets and confirmed that suspect was alone. When the detective returned with U.S. Marshals to make an arrest, the suspect, Charles Mozdir, immediately opened fire with a .32-caliber revolver.
“Mozdir fired upon the officers at very close range and the officers returned fire,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said during an update from Bellevue Hospital.
The detective, was shot twice in the stomach below his bulletproof vest. He was in critical but stable condition. One marshal was shot in the leg and the other was hit in the elbow. All of the officers were in good spirits, Bratton said.
Bratton said the vest may have saved the officer’s life, preventing a bullet that would have struck his torso.
SOURCE: Marc Santia and Jonathan Dienst
NBC 4 New York