VIDEO: Man Grabs NYPD Officer's Gun, Fatally Shoots Bronx Deli Clerk
A panhandler removed the duty weapon from a New York Police Department officer's holster and used it to fatally shoot a Bronx bodega worker as a late-night dispute over $2 exploded into a deadly street shootout, police said.
Oft-arrested Efrain Guzman fired 15 shots from the NYPD-issued 9mm handgun before he was wounded by the disarmed officer's partner — but bodega employee Wali Camara had already been fatally wounded, reports the New York Daily News.
Officer Jorge Monge, on the force for three years, told his mother that Guzman seized the Glock handgun with such speed and ease that it appeared the suspect had practiced the move.
Both officers escaped without injury, police said.
Longtime N&A Food employee Camara had told Guzman to leave the store around 1 a.m. Tuesday, and was fatally shot after coming to the aid of workers arguing with Guzman at a bodega across the street, witnesses and polie said.
Guzman, 30, turned violent when two employees at the A&M Deli ignored his sales pitch for a cellphone charger and ordered him to leave the Valentine Ave. store, according to witnesses.
Guzman bit off a piece of one worker's finger before grabbing and twisting the same man's arm, said witness Adal Negei, 32. A deli worker called 911 as another employee flagged down two passing officers from the 52nd Precinct.
The officers went inside, grabbed the suspect, and pulled him out of the deli, sources said. On the way out, Guzman pulled the gun from Monge's holster and unloaded a barrage of bullets.
Camara, a 49-year-old immigrant from Mali, was standing outside after hearing about the fight in the neighboring deli. Within seconds, the unarmed man was dying in the street.
The suspect has nine prior arrests, dating to 2002, on charges including burglary and weapon possession, officials said. He was busted for assault earlier this year.
Monge had an older NYPD-issued holster, which has a weaker clasp that is easier to rip free than the newer version.
"Guzman made a very fast move and basically ripped the gun out of the holster," said NYPD Assistant Chief Larry Nikunen. "It was grabbed and pulled out of the holster . . . not an easy thing to do."
One of the bullets tore into Camara's groin, and he died at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx. Guzman was shot twice by Monge's partner, and taken to the same hospital in stable condition, police said.
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