A retired NYPD officer was accidentally shot dead by a friend while the two tried to defend an elderly man in a fight outside a Brooklyn pizzeria Monday night, cops and witnesses said.
The retired officer, identified by sources as Thomas Marrinan, 57, was hanging out with his friend, a 53-year-old retired correction officer, outside Korner Pizza on Church Ave. at E. Third St. in Kensington.
At about 7:20 p.m., the two saw an 86-year-old man being hassled by a younger man, police said.
Marrinan and his pal intervened, confronting the 33-year-old man, and they started fighting, with the dispute spilling down the block, said Deputy Chief Joseph Gulotta, the commanding officer of Detective Borough Brooklyn South.
Marrinan was a beloved regular at the eatery, and the younger man he quarreled with was known around the area as a troublemaker and drug user, according to witnesses.
“They were arguing with the younger guy in the street,” said Denzel Smith, 69, who was waiting for a bus nearby.
“The guy said, ‘I’m going to get you. I’m going to shoot you.’ The other guy said, ‘I’m a retired cop,’” Smith said.
As they struggled, the retired correction officer pulled out his gun, Gulotta said. A single bullet was fired during the fight, striking both Marrinan and the younger man, he said.
“There was one shot. Thomas was on the floor,” said Regina Uddin, 30, a software engineer.
“The crackhead was also shot,” she said, referring to the other man.
Marrinan was hit in the chest, and the man he was struggling with was hit in the arm, sources said.
Medics rushed both men to Maimonides Hospital. Marrinan couldn’t be saved.
“The police were pumping Thomas, saying, ‘Wake up! Wake up!’ He wasn’t responding,” Uddin said. “The other guy was sitting there handcuffed. The crackhead was shot in the arm, and the cops dragged him to an ambulance.”
“Thomas is a sweet guy. I tell him all my problems. I can’t believe what happened,” she added.
Marrinan joined the NYPD in 1992 and was assigned to Transit District 30 in Brooklyn. He retired in 2013, sources said.
“Thomas is a retired transit cop and union delegate. He was known as Tommy Donuts, because everywhere he went, he brought donuts,” said his friend, Alan Dubrow, 78, a retired banker.
“I’m really upset. Tommy is just a swell guy. It’s a real tragedy,” Dubrow said. He was always looking out for the neighborhood.”