NEW YORK — As a man lay dying on a Bronx street from a shootout with police, his father snatched the gun from the son’s hands — and used it to continue the gun battle with officers, authorities said.
Two off-duty officers spotted the 24-year-old son shooting at a man on Valentine Avenue near 180th Street in the West Bronx just after 4 a.m., police said.
The father and son had been in an argument with a group of people on the corner when it turned physical and the son pulled out the gun, cops said.
“It was more than 10 shots I heard,” said a resident who didn’t want to be named. “When I came to the window they still was banging, ‘Bop, bop, bop, bop, bop,’ it stopped then, ‘Bop, bop, bop.’”
The officers, who were in plainclothes after finishing their workday, identified themselves and told the shooter to drop his weapon but the gunman instead pointed it at them and began unloading, officials said. Nobody was struck.
The police officers returned fire and fatally struck the gunman once in the chest, cops said.
Uniformed officers from the 46th Precinct station house a block away swarmed the area after they heard the shots.
“Immediately after shooting, the officers began rendering aid to the 24-year-old male,” NYPD Chief of Patrol, Juanita Holmes said at a press conference.
In a wild turn of events, the gunman’s 45-year-old father picked up the firearm from his dying son’s hand and began firing at cops but nobody was struck, police said. Police returned fire but the dad was not hit.
Surveillance video shows the father walking around the block, weaving between cars, then returning to the scene in hopes cops didn’t recognize him, sources said.
The father passed the gun to a nearby woman and tried to get away but cops quickly arrested him.
The dad has around 60 prior arrests on his record ranging from charges of drug possession, assault and weapon possession, a source said. His son had been arrested a handful of times for minor offenses such as aggravated driving without a license, according to sources.
“I wouldn’t say he was a bad (man) but he got into a lot of trouble,” a friend of the father said. “Sounds kind of like a father protecting his son. ... It’s sad but it happened.”
EMS rushed the son to St. Barnabas Hospital but he could not be saved.
Both officers were taken to Jacobi Medical Center for ringing in the ears, police said.
The woman the dad passed the gun to ran off as did the shooter’s intended target.
Charges for the father were pending, police said.
“That makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m really surprised, it’s like it’s not safe,” said Joe Dumessi, 37, who moved to the neighborhood about a week ago. “Maybe one day I get up and go buy something in the night and something can happen like that.”