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An early morning Thursday shootout in Queens, New York, left an off-duty lieutenant with the New York Police Department (NYPD) injured and a robbery suspect dead, according to authorities.
Police responded to reports of a shooting around 3 a.m. EST outside a nightclub called La Boom and found two males with gunshot wounds lying on the ground.
“We saw the body camera, and this officer had minutes to live, and … first-responding officers and then the FDNY – I can’t believe how much work and how dedicated they were to saving this officer’s life,” Louis Turco, vice president of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association, said during an early Thursday press briefing. “…We got lucky tonight. It’s like, when is this luck going to run out?”
Authorities identified one of the gunshot wound victims as the off-duty lieutenant and the other male as the suspected shooter, who is accused of using a semiautomatic handgun with an extended magazine that was recovered from the scene.
“We always talk about getting guns off the street,” he continued. “… Yes, we’ve got to get guns off the street. We’ve got to get individuals carrying guns off the street. There’s two parts to this – not just the gun. If you just get the gun and not the individual, he goes and gets another gun. We’re missing it. These individuals carrying guns should not be on the street.”
The suspect is accused of using a semiautomatic handgun with an extended magazine that was recovered from the scene. (NYPD Twitter)
The off-duty officer sustained multiple gunshot wounds, according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. Both the lieutenant and the suspect were transported to a nearby hospital; the lieutenant remains in critical but stable condition while the suspect was pronounced deceased at 3:35 a.m.
Based on a preliminary investigation, officials believe the off-duty officer was present at the nightclub near the shooting incident. “Several armed individuals wearing masks” confronted the officer outside the nightclub – possibly in an attempt to rob him of jewelry he was wearing – as the officer was leaving. One of the suspects began shooting at the officer before the other masked suspects apparently fled in a vehicle, Shea said.
La Boom nightclub. (Google Maps)
Shea and Turco thanked hospital staff and paramedics for saving the off-duty officer’s life.
The NYPD is investigating the active and ongoing case.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call 1-800-577-TIPS.
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