Gang Member Suspect in Shooting of New York Firefighter Killed by Police

A member of the New York City Police Department Emergency Services Unit walks near the scene where Garland Tyree barricaded himself in his home after shooting a New York Fire Department lieutenant in Staten Island, New York, August 14, 2015. A firefighter was shot twice and wounded on Friday by a man wielding an assault rifle who set his home ablaze in a ongoing standoff with New York authorities to avoid being arrested, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
A member of the New York City Police Department Emergency Services Unit walks near the scene where Garland Tyree barricaded himself in his home after shooting a New York Fire Department lieutenant in Staten Island, New York, August 14, 2015. A firefighter was shot twice and wounded on Friday by a man wielding an assault rifle who set his home ablaze in a ongoing standoff with New York authorities to avoid being arrested, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

The man who shot and wounded a firefighter during a six-hour standoff with authorities fled his New York home on Friday, opening fire on police, who returned it and shot him dead, law enforcement said. 

Garland Tyree, 38, an alleged gang member who authorities were trying to arrest for a federal parole violation, had promised to surrender but instead dashed out the back door with an assault rifle, spraying bullets at police who surrounded the multi-family home in New York’s Staten Island borough, police said.

An AK-47, three handguns and a smoke grenade were recovered from the scene on Destiny Court, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said at a news conference.

“I love you,” Tyree said in a phone call with his mother, flown from Delaware to the scene by police helicopter after Tyree promised to surrender once she arrived, police said.

“Very sweet with the mom, and mom was very sweet with him,” Lieutenant Jack Cambria said. “And then right after that, the shots rang out.”

Just after dawn on Friday, as the Regional Fugitive Task Force attempted to arrest Tyree, he set off a smoke grenade in his basement apartment, Bratton said.

Firefighters responded to a call for help and fire lieutenant Jim Hayes, 53, a 31-year veteran of the department, was shot in the calf and buttocks, police and fire officials said.

Hayes had crawled into the apartment beneath the smoke to look for Tyree before authorities knew he was armed. Hayes is in stable condition at a local hospital, New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

Tyree wrote, “Today I die” on his Facebook profile early Friday morning. Friends responded with questions and concern. “They kicked in my door and it popped off,” Tyree wrote.

He had a long criminal history with at least 18 arrests, including a homicide when he was 16, Bratton said.

In July 2013, Tyree was ordered to serve more time in prison for violating the terms of his supervised release by allegedly using cocaine and associating with known gang members, according to a court document that details his alleged involvement in the Bloods street gang.

Bratton said he was again released from prison in July 2014 and was on federal parole until next year.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Katie Reilly; Editing by Susan Heavey and Lisa Lambert)

Source: Reuters

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